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What to make of it all = how to deal with it at all?

 
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 01:48 am

Context:
Whatever the facts, that's all she needed to know as her own life moved toward its end. As for me, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it all, but given the life I've led, I could hardly be surprised that my father was more complicated than the idealized pictures I had lived with for nearly half a century. (My Life by Bill Clinton)
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 2,051 • Replies: 7
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 01:53 am
@oristarA,
What to make of something means what to think of something, what conclusion to draw from it.
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 04:43 am
Quote:
what conclusion to draw from it.


Agreed.
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 04:44 am
Quote:
what conclusion to draw from it.


Agreed. One sometimes does not know "what to make" of a confusing mass of different pieces of information.

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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 07:27 am
Thank you both.

But what does "all" mean there?
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 08:30 am
@oristarA,
Quote:
But what does "all" mean there?

If you mean this one...

I wasn't quite sure what to make of it all

It means "the totality of it" - whatever Clinton was having trouble making sense of.

Consider:

There are so many birds in the sky that I cannot count them all. (=all of them)

There is so much in the newspapers about Iraq, that I do not have enough time to read it all. (=all of it)



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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 09:22 am
Thanks
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OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 10:21 am

"What to make of it all" means how to UNDERSTAND the information in front of u.


" how to deal with it at all" means what to DO about the situation.





David
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