Another silly prescription - 'much more'

Reply Sat 16 Apr, 2011 09:03 pm
This was started in another thread,


as a spin off prescription to another prescription that was advanced in Post: # 4,568,361 by Ionus.

It started on page 173 and continued until page 181.

Ionus advanced the spurious notion that 'much more' doesn't describe a greater quantity than 'more' so the word 'much', he stated, is redundant.

He also advanced the spurious notion that it was bad English. He was never able to give any source for his contentions and his arguments were nothing more than a muddle of extreme ignorance.

[Can one use 'nothing more'? Does it mean the same as 'more'?]

I suspect that he spent many long hours on the Net desperately searching for something to defend his position but coming up short left him with the only tact possible, [save for honesty, which for him is out of the question], misdirection and lying.

As soon as one encounters the term "purists", used with respect to language issues, you can pretty much bet your last dollar that the stuff that follows is unrelated to how people actually use language, ie. it's a nonsensical prescription, which does contain I guess, a redundancy.



Is saying much more grammatically correct? For instance, some purists argue that this is wrong:

I'm much more comfortable with A than B
and that it should be:

I'm more comfortable with A than B
or, to emphasize:

I'm a lot more comfortable with A than B

Much more does sound colloquial but I've seen it used in newspapers and articles so I was curious.


Much more is perfectly grammatical, and in fact much more popular than a lot more, according to both the British National Corpus and the Corpus of Contemporary American English:


much more 8024 29549
a lot more 1209 9954
much more comfortable 28 203
a lot more comfortable 12 72
much more expensive 47 186
a lot more expensive 13 47

Much more comfortable is more popular in all contexts, from spoken to academic. In fact, in academic contexts it is preferred by a significantly larger margin than in speech:


much more comfortable 0.65 0.26 0.73 0.51 0.22
a lot more comfortable 0.33 0.06 0.21 0.22 0.02
(Average number of occurrences per million words.)

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Reply Sat 16 Apr, 2011 09:07 pm
A few questions that were left unanswered in the thread where the discussion ensued.

Is "a lot" also excluded in your rule, Ionus? Do the rules of English allow a lot more?

Is it your contention that 'a lot more ___' is equal in amount to 'more ___'?
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Reply Sat 16 Apr, 2011 09:33 pm
left him with the only tact possible ... misdirection and lying.

There's not much more that I can say other than be lenient with those that sail on oblivious.

The cliche you sought was "the only tack possible" cf. the change in direction you alluded to.

Never mind, I still love you.

I realise it was a brain snap error choosing tact instead of tack and in no way diminishes the egregious assault on the language that those who when presented with the evidence which you so readily obtain continue to squirm in denial.
Reply Sat 16 Apr, 2011 09:43 pm
The cliche you sought was "the only tack possible"

It was indeed, Fobvious. Thank you.
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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 06:35 am
Ionus writes: You tell me to go to a thread you started when we have discussed it ad nauseaum here... .

['here', above, means the other thread. The topic has been moved here but Ionus doesn't want to come to this thread as that would entail him having to face the music and be honest]

Yes, you added much nausea inducing nonsense but you were never really able to get around to discussing the actual issues.

the topic has been thoroughly covered .

No thanks to you.

Ionus: Do you really think you have the moral high ground ?

This has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with language. On those grounds, the facts point up that your ideas were pretty much completely vacant.

Now there I go again using a collocation that doesn't specifically describe a quantity. I'll have to check with Ionus to see if this one, along with the hundreds that exist, to see if it's approved.
Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 08:40 pm

Now now JTT.
Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 08:56 pm
Almost unique.
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Reply Tue 19 Apr, 2011 09:06 am
The jargon of ESL/EFL, Fobvius.
Reply Tue 19 Apr, 2011 09:12 am
Nonspecific ways to say more than more:


much more / scads more / tons more / tonnes more?? / oodles [and oodles] more / [add your own]


a dollop more / [add your own]


a tad more / a [tiny] bit more / a little more / a smidg/smidgen more / [add your own]

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Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2011 12:07 pm
[Moved from,]


Spendius remarked: An author, famous enough for one of his book titles to have become part of our language and mental furniture, wrote, in a passage about a scientific experiment on the "placebo effect" in the Massachusetts General Hospital----

providing the following quote,


They [[the reactors]] were also much more religious, much more active in the affairs of their church and much more preoccupied, on a subconscious level, with their pelvic and abdominal organs.

Ionus replied: Much is usually qualitative,

Both in positive and negative senses? How many corpus studies have you checked? Please provide your sources, Ionus.

and when it is used as a quantitative word it is similar to saying "more better" ....the world has already experienced superlative overload....most best....even the Old Spice man needs to up the ante by saying..fresh...fresher...freshest....freshestshist .

Now you want to outlaw 'much'? The discussion isn't about 'much'. It is about the collocation 'much more'. You are so confused that you don't know if you are coming or going.

I'm struggling to find any kind of rational argument in this for your initial contention, which you have irredeemably confused, but there just isn't any.

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Reply Thu 26 May, 2011 12:11 am



But my impression is that artificial rules about usage often start when a half-educated commentator with more self-confidence than insight, and with no respect for either demotic or elite traditions, decides that some common practice is inefficient or illogical.

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