"We Couldn't Say It If It Wasn't True"..

… equals, “It isn’t true”?, right?

I’m sorry if I missed this on a previous thread, but since I come here so infrequently, I am asking anyway. Feel free to link me, and thanks.

I am talking about those “hair restoration” creams. You know, the ones which make you look like you just gave birth to a meerkat on your head?

Luckily, I don’t have this problem, but I was just wondering how many men and women get taken in by that phrase in the title line?



Well no, the statement doesn’t necessarily equal “It isn’t true,” but in this case it probably isn’t. The people who are taken in by it are the people who believe everything they hear, especially when the person they’re listening to explicitly claims to be telling the truth.

Of course the wording really should be “. . . weren’t true . . .”, but let’s ignore that for the moment.

Anyway, no, the sentence is asserting that whatever else they’re saying must be the truth. You can rearrange it a bit for clarity:
[li]We couldn’t say it, if it were not true. (B is implied by A)[/li][li]If it were not true, then we couldn’t say it. (A implies B)[/li][li]If we (could) say it, then it is true. (not-B implies not-A)[/li][/ol]

I don’t think he’s asking about the literal meaning of the phrase. He’s asking for confirmation that those who say this are essentially lying through their teeth, but trying to convince you otherwise.

And I agree that it’s a red flag for horsecrap. They don’t have actual evidence to support their claims, so they appeal to the logic of the naive, who mistakenly assume that either a) these companies won’t lie to them, or b) the government won’t let these companies lie to them. As to how many fall for it, I’m sure it’s far, far too many (but no, I don’t have a clue as to the actual figures).

Concur; a straightforward reading of it means “we’re able to say it because it’s true” or “we would be prevented from telling lies about this, so what we say must be true”.

Of course, they probably could say it if it weren’t true, especially when the ‘it’ in question is probably couched with lots of vague qualification; it amounts to nothing more than a promise that they’re not lying.
But a promise that the speaker is not lying, when the speaker is in fact a liar, is as worthless as all the other lies he might speak.