"so much" as in the quote below

This area has been established to allow you, our visitors and contributors, to get to know one another a bit better, or to discuss subjects of general interest, without feeling obliged to restrict your postings to language-related topics. But we draw the line at floccinaucinihilivilification.
Post Reply

"so much" as in the quote below

Post by JANE DOErell » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:33 pm

I have emphasized "so much" in the following quote.

"Death is a universal human experience, characterized by grief, loss, memory and hope. It seems poorly served to have it sensationalized and hung out like so much dirty laundry."

It seems I have heard expressions of this sort all my life, seventy years now, but what purpose does "so much" serve? ".... It seems poorly served to have it sensationalized and hung out like dirty laundry." seems to say the same thing without "so much" but the "so much" seems to add something. What does it add? Why?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

"so much" as in the quote below

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:04 pm

As you imply, Jane, it's just a rhetorical flourish whose purpose is to amplify the force of the main thought. In my opinion, it partly achieves this by providing a few extra words that enable the speaker to add a dramatic pause or other vocal emphasis in order to underscore the point they are making.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

"so much" as in the quote below

Post by Shelley » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:39 pm

I agree, especially when the pause has a french accent.

I think "like so much . . . " also adds a note of triviality to the subject: makes it seem even more base than the disparaging adjective intends. It's like I'm saying, "The Thing is so bad (pathetic, boring, gross, idiotic -- whatever) that it's like This, but I don't want to give it even that much weight because it's so bad it's not even worthy of the weight I've given it so I'm going to take back a little by implying that I don't even really care about the exact thing I'm using to say how bad The Thing is". Uh, see what I mean?

Yeah, the phrase is extraneous to the point of the sentence, but at the same time it adds a point all its own.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

"so much" as in the quote below

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:41 pm

Shelley, your point about the pause with the French accent is a cute one.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

"so much" as in the quote below

Post by Shelley » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:52 pm

I'm attempting shake off the gravity of some of this weekend's previous postings.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply