In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, Renmark wanted to tell someone that his son is missing, but he didn't want to alarm the boy's sister

“Is your father in the house?”

“Yes, but he is worried about mother. Tell me what it is. It is better to tell me.”

Renmark hesitated.

“Don’t keep me in suspense like this,” cried the girl in a low but intense voice. “You have said too much or too little.

What does "say too much or too little" mean?

  • Why don't you translate that into your mother tongue? It would mean the same thing.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


I have a surprise for you.

But I'm not going to tell you what it is.

You don't like not knowing, do you? I'm keeping you in suspense. I shouldn't have said anything (I've said too much), or else I should tell you what the surprise is (I've said too little).

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