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Nowhere near

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Nowhere near

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:10 am

From a news story: "Although nowhere near as strong as Katrina, Isaac is a massive storm."

"Nowhere near" bothers me. Substitute "not nearly" or just "nearly"? Are they all double negatives? Or are "nowhere" and "not" merely intensifiers? And can the adjective "strong" be modified adverbially through the as...as construction?

Whatcha think?
pl
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Re: Nowhere near

Postby Slava » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:02 pm

Nowhere near and nearly are nowhere close to being synonyms. Katrina was a category 5, Isaac barely made it to 1. Nowhere near the strength. 4 would be nearly there.

I don't understand the quibble with the as...as formation. Isn't that the most common usage?

As strong as an ox.
As light as a feather.
As thick as molasses.
Etc.
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Re: Nowhere near

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:17 pm

As strong as Katrina is correct. Thus nowhere near(ly) modifies strong, which is an adjective. Near is also an adj, thus the need for an advebial ly ending. "Nowhere near" is, I think, a colloquialism, but also a bit of a double negative.
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Re: Nowhere near

Postby Slava » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:42 pm

Why do you think nowhere near is a double negative? There's only one that I can see: nowhere.
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