Self-defeating syntax

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Fri Nov 11 16:17:56 UTC 2005

Heard on NPR yesterday:
"Few here would be surprised if tomorrow wasn't just as bad"( reporting
from Baghdad on the several bombings).  This kind of construction which
seems to deny what is really meant is so common that it barely catches the
attention.  Is there a name for it?  I think it's been discussed here
A. Murie

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