and so affected what he probably thought of as worldly disdain

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
He looked concerned and unhappy, and Fran suddenly felt badly for him. Harold Lauder tooling around this sad, ruined town in Roy Brannigan’s Cadillac, Harold Lauder who had probably never had a date in his life and so affected what he probably thought of as worldly disdain. For dates, girls, friends, everything. Including himself, most likely.
Source: The Stand by Stephen King
Context: Harold Lauder dropped at Frannie's place. She despises him. He is her friend Amy's teenage brother. Harold is 16 years old and he is driving (tooling around) around town with the local realtor's Cadillac who died with superflu that is ravaging the town and the population at large.

I do not get the bolded sentence.

I gather affected = not natural, not sincere, behaving in way to impress someone. Harold is acting affected (use big, fake melodramatic gestures, calling Frannie 'my child', driving someone's car)
Disdain = contempt.

What does the bolded mean? I can not figure it out despite understanding the individual words. Is it possible that affect is not an adjective in this sentence but rather a transitive verb? Is the construct of the bolded sentence sound clear as an English native?

Thank you.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Affected" is a verb here. The idea is that he put on a false air of worldly disdain, pretended to be disdainful. If you affect sincerity it means you pretend to be sincere.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    What is probably throwing you off is the use of "so" it means "and therefore" here, linking his failure with woman with his disdainful (self-protective) attitude.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. By corollary, could I say:
    I affected of what I thought of as a worldly happiness = I affected happiness.

    Thank you again.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    What is probably throwing you off is the use of "so" it means "and therefore" here, linking his failure with woman with his disdainful (self-protective) attitude.
    Thank you. You are absolutely correct. I was incorrectly confident that affected was an adjective because of 'so' as in he is so pretentious and disdainful. Though I am familiar with with so= and therefore, I did not think of it.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Thank you. You are absolutely correct. I was incorrectly confident that affected was an adjective because of 'so' as in he is so pretentious and disdainful. Though I am familiar with with so= and therefore, I did not think of it.
    I had to read it a couple of times myself!
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. I looked 'so' in Longman Dictionary:
    (so) spoken old-fashioned (my emphasis)
    used before or after a verb to emphasize that someone does something a lot or to a great degree:
    I wish you wouldn’t fuss so (=as much as you do). It makes me nervous.
    He does so enjoy reading your letters.

    It seems 'so' could also be used before a verb for emphasis.

    Thank you again. Awesome.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Thank you. I looked 'so' in Longman Dictionary:
    (so) spoken old-fashioned (my emphasis)
    used before or after a verb to emphasize that someone does something a lot or to a great degree:
    I wish you wouldn’t fuss so (=as much as you do). It makes me nervous.
    He does so enjoy reading your letters.

    It seems 'so' could also be used before a verb for emphasis.

    Thank you again. Awesome.
    Yes, it can be, but here it doesn't seem to make sense like that. Look at the rest of the grammar of the sentence, it is x "and so" y.
    "He had probably never had a girlfriend and so affected a disdain for everything".
     
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