I was reading an answer on one of the sister sites of this site and came across this line :

A common question, glad you asked it. Here is all you never thought you would ever not want to know about it.

I read the second sentence three or four times but still confused at what it means. Can someone break down this convoluted sentence and help me understand the idea behind this sentence?

  • 2
    Vast overnegation, with normal ambiguities. Lessee, all is a quantifier, never and not are negatives, and would is a modal. That's at least four Operators in one sentence, which means there are probably at least 2⁴ different ways they could be arranged. Many of them would be synonymous, others very unlikely. But tracking down every possible twist in the scope is tedious at best. Aug 2, 2013 at 18:29
  • Parse the sentence into idiomatic expressions and set phrases, -- you will see the author's idea more clearly.
    – Kris
    Aug 3, 2013 at 7:37

4 Answers 4


"More than you'd ever want" is a common expression meaning, well, "this is more than you need or want."

In this context, the author is warning the person that there will be more than eoungh information.

"More than you would ever not want to know" is a humorous extension of this to say "I am going to give you so much more information than you asked for that you wish you never received the information in the first place." The context is that the recipient has the tidbit of answer accompanied by a large body of possibly undesirable information.

"all you never thought..." extends this further (humorously) by implying that the amount of extra unwatned information is large beyond the imagination of the recipient.

Sayings like "I never thought I'd be able to do that, but I did" etc. are pretty common. The speaker is playing with this convention.


Considering the context of that answer, it seems that the person intended to say that the answer was so complete that it would include information far beyond that for which the person asking was looking.


I will add that he is creating a deliberately confusing sentence, breaking multiple rules of grammar, for humor's sake. English speakers (me too occasionally) do that sometimes, and such sentences are not even intended to be deciphered.


Basically it's saying "Here is all you thought you would ever want to know about it."

Because if you look at it closely, you'll see two negatives: In this case "never" and "not".
When there is an even number of negatives, remove them.
When there is an odd number of negatives, it's still a negative.
(The negative of -1 is 1 while the negative of the negative of -1 is -1.)

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