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English phrase question?

I'm watching a documentary from 1997 called "Area 51: the Alien interview". Victor, the mysterious man who will not give his name, identity and used a voice-changer, said: "I stress that I was not necessarily at the site" because he didn't want to say whether he was not at the session shown on the tape. Shouldn't he have just said, "I will not specify." Doesn't "not necessarily" in this case possibly denote a lie?


The interviewer asks if he saw the alien. Victor states he did but doesn't want to specify if he was at the session on the tape. If he didn't want to say whether he was there... then why not just say "I won't specify."

Update 2:

Can't "I didn't necessarily [whatever ...]" incriminate him and reveal his identity.

Update 3:

I get "not necessarily" is not an absolute. So it's neutral. He's not lying.

But still isn't that kindy iffy to do. Why not say "I'd would rather not specify."

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    "was not necessarily there" is used to say that he does not admit or deny.  Not a lie, just not full truth.  The idea he is giving is that he was actually there, but he probably has very good reason (like a legal one) to not come right out and say it, and when asked, cannot answer yes.  But he does not want to lie, so he does not say no either.  HE says "I willnot say one way or the other".

    It is the old standard of secret-holders: I can neither confirm nor deny that.  No comment.

    The very obvious reason that they always refuse to confirm or deny is that if they always deny when not true, then not denying means it must be true, even if they never say so.  Therefore, they never do either, confirm or deny.  Same answer whether true or not.

  • 1 month ago

    It basically is another way of saying "I may or may not have been....". He just didn't want to pinpoint his exact actions probably for security reasons.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    "not necessarily" is a common phrase. It means the person is not agreeing but not denying. It doesn't mean the same as "specify". 

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