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Does this sentence suffer from double negation:

"The results of this study will not, we do not think, shock economists."

  • In my humble opinion no, it is not a double negation. – hrexen May 23 '16 at 7:41
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    This is not a double negation, no. It's confusing though, since the middle part should have said "we think". – Mr Lister May 23 '16 at 8:02
  • there is no double negation here. First negation is not related to the second negation. – Archie Azares May 23 '16 at 8:22
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I find there is a gradation, going from grammatical to very, very odd, depending on whether "we do not think" can be taken as expressing an afterthought, when it's okay, or whether it is taken as qualifying the rest, when it is pretty bad:

"The results of this study will not shock economists -- at least we don't think so."  
?"The results of this study will not, we don't think, shock economists."  
??"The results of this study will not, we do not think, shock economists."  
???"We do not think the results of this study will not shock economists."  
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There's no double negation here. To better understand why there's no double negation, look at this sentence in this order:

"We do not think the results of this study will not shock economists."

Stated another way, although this may not be logically true:

"We think the results of this study will shock economists."

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Double negative or not, why not say, "The results of this study will not, we think, shock economists." That's what you're actually trying to say. You think it won't shock them.

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