Is the expression shockingly enough an understatement?

I've heard of oddly enough and took it to mean to some extent, it's odd, but the combination of shockingly and enough sounds like you are trying to convey an understatement, or what one would use in the negative, like

It's not shocking enough to merit any interest.

  • 2
    I'm not following. Your example does not use the expression in question. Please clarify.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jul 26 '11 at 14:04

While oddly enough is used most often to introduce something that is counterintuitive (and much less often in an ironic sense), I have only very rarely heard or seen shockingly enough used outside of a context similar to this:

Shockingly enough, Albanian is spoken mostly in Albania.

That use can be described as "ironic" in much the same way as a TI class supertanker can be described as "sort of a large canoe". Far from indicating any degree of shock, the phrase is most often used to point out the blindingly obvious.

That is not to say that it is never used in a literal sense. When it is used without irony, it is not usually an understatement:

Shockingly enough, most of the actual violence is carried out by school-age children and not by the veterans of the gang because of laws limiting the sentences of juvenile offenders.

In both phrases, enough is probably superfluous, but it is idiomatic, particularly when the phrase is used ironically.

  • I'll go with this and delete my own answer. Excellent examples, both. Jul 26 '11 at 16:07
  • I would expect the enough portion to link an additional statement. Like _ Albanian is a slavic language originating in Eastern europe. OR _ Members of gang xyz is believed to be responsible for over 100 deaths already this year.
    – Chad
    Jul 26 '11 at 16:50
  • I certainly wouldn't. Enough doesn't imply wait -- there's more!
    – bye
    Jul 26 '11 at 16:55

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