Well, actually, if you're talking about the PRINT, the lights in the print are underexposed, because they lack detail. In the negative, they're overexposed. To reduce the brightness in the print you need to ADD exposure one way or another, so you would not "hold back". Now, if you were dealing with a transparency or a print from a transparency, your terminology would be spot on the money, because you would want to withhold exposure from the highlights to keep them from blowing out - when exposing a transparency, you're better off underexposing rather than over-exposing, because instead of building density with exposure, they destroy density with exposure. Same with making an Ilfochrome print - the longer you burn in, the more density you remove from the print. It all makes a lot more sense when you've actually done these processes - if you're used to doing either one of them, the other one seems counter-intuitive.