as natural an act for a human as flapping them while jumping off a cliff


New Member
Hello. Thank you for your help.

I have a question about the underlined part in the text below:

"The long spring windup is over. Major League Baseball begins its 2007 season tonight, and for the league’s 360 pitchers, the challenge not only will be to win, but to stay out of the doctor’s office over the course of the 162-game regular season.

Using your arm to throw a baseball 95 miles an hour or more has long been considered about as natural an act for a human as flapping them while jumping off a cliff. Almost every pitcher in the major leagues undergoes surgery at some point in his career — often several times. <-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->"

I'd like to know the precise nature of the usage of the world "natural" here. Is is correct to think that the word "natural" is used here to effecitively mean "unnatural"?

If that is correct, then it means that there is a presupposition that flapping your arms while jumping off a cliff is unnatural. Is this correct?

If that is also correct, then I believe that the word "natural" here is used as what grammarians call a "measure adjective," as in "How old is he?" "He is only three years old."

Supposing all these things are correct, what I would like to know are:

(1) Do you use the word "natural" in this way very often? Or is this usage here in the above text just a one-off example?

(2) Do you (or can you) use other meausre adjectives such as old, long, tall, big, etc, in the same way (i.e. in the "as" form)? For example, can you say something like "This newly discovered creature is just as big as an ant!" with a presupposition that ants are very small insects?

Thank you for your help.
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