(Do) you want the good news or the bad news (first)?

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(Do) you want the good news or the bad news (first)?

cliché A semi-rhetorical question indicating that a situation has one aspect or outcome that is positive or beneficial, while there is also another aspect or outcome that is unfortunate or detrimental. Usually used when the bad news overshadows the good. A: "How did your meeting with the judge go?" B: "Do you want the good news or the bad news?" A: "Hoo boy. OK, tell me both." B: "The good news is he's agreed to postpone the trial. The bad news is he's throwing out all the evidence we previously submitted." A: "Our quarterly sales reports are in—you want the good news or the bad news?" B: "Give me the good news first." A: "Revenue is up 10%." B: "And the bad news?" A: "Our operating costs have gone up nearly 25% over last quarter."
See also: bad, good, news, want
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bad news/good news

Also, good news/bad news. This phrase and its reverse are generally used to make an announcement of both unfavorable and favorable circumstances. The “good news” generally mitigates the “bad news,” as in “You got a D-minus on the math test but an A on your English essay.” A twentieth-century usage, it is often found in headlines, such as “Sports Redux: Good News, Bad News,” reporting a baseball game in which the Red Sox led in runs but their pitcher then allowed the Rays enough runs to win. Similarly, a New York Times column by Thomas L. Friedman remarked on the arrest of eleven Russian sleeper agents: “. . . this is actually a good news/bad news story. The good news is that someone still wants to spy on us. The bad news is that it’s the Russians” (July 14, 2010).
See also: bad, good, news
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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