anything less than

nonghyub

New Member
korean - english
This sometimes uses some expressions.
I can understand phrase of "less than" if with number.

E.g)less than $500 buy a thing that do you want

However, The qestion is "anything less than"
E.g)
Anything less than full reform of business rates is a sticking plaster

In case of this, what should i understand underline?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    "Less than" can also mean not reaching a certain level.

    Anything less than full reform means reform that is not full, only partial - whether 10%, 20% or 90%.

    The sentence means that partial reform is just like a sticking plaster, which serves to cover up an injury but doesn't heal it immediately.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hi,

    I also have a question about this phrase and here's my context, the passage is from an exercise paper:

    It’s no surprise that Jennifer Senior’s insightful, provocative magazine cover story, “I love My Children, I Hate My Life,” is arousing much chatter – nothing gets people talking like the suggestion that child rearing is anything less than a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience.

    According to the understanding of #2, I wonder the sentence means:

    People don't talking about child rearing because it's not a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience.

    I think the meaning of the sentence should just be the opposite.

    People talk about child rearing because it's a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience.

    But I don't know what's wrong with my understanding here.

    I need your help.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It’s no surprise that Jennifer Senior’s insightful, provocative magazine cover story, “I love My Children, I Hate My Life,” is arousing much chatter – nothing gets people talking like the suggestion that child rearing is anything less than a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience.
    To parapharse - the suggestion here is that a common perception of child rearing is that it is (or should be) "a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience". Therefore the author says that any suggestion that it's not true always gets people talking and provokes a lot of discussion. :)
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    To parapharse - the suggestion here is that a common perception of child rearing is that it is (or should be) "a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience". Therefore the author says that any suggestion that it's not true always gets people talking and provokes a lot of discussion. :)
    :confused::confused:

    Sorry, Donny. I am getting more and more confused. I just looked it up and found a Chinese version, the sentence means "Nothing get people talking and provokes discussion but child rearing is......."

    Would you please be more specific? Thanks a lot
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    To put Donny's explanation in different words:

    Most people consider child rearing a very fulfilling and enriching experience. This belief is widely held and deeply ingrained.

    Therefore, when someone suggests something different, that child rearing is actually not as fulfilling and enriching as commonly believed, it surprises people and gets them talking about it.

    The phrase "nothing gets people talking like [a certain issue]" is an expression meaning "[A certain issue], if it comes up, will definitely get people talking about it a lot". It literally means that there is nothing else that can make people talk as much (which is usually an exaggeration for effect).

    For example, I was just thinking when reading a recent thread about a particular obscenity, that nothing gets people contributing on this forum like a topic with a sexual connotation. ;)
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Barque's explanation is excellent.

    ... nothing gets people talking like the suggestion that child rearing is anything less than a completely fulfilling, life-enriching experience.

    This kind of sentence is quite hard for native speakers to understand too. If it were not expressing an already familiar concept, I would have had some difficulty working out what the writer was trying to say.
     
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