(it) was now by far the largest of the Hollywood charities

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Cholo234

Senior Member
American English
Checking out an article on Johnny Carson, I found the following quote at wikipedia.org.

"In August 2010, the charitable foundation created by Johnny Carson reported receiving $156 million from a personal trust established by the entertainer years prior to his January 2005 death. Carson's foundation was now by far the largest of the Hollywood charities."

I thought that now was supposed to refer to the present time, yet this quote above mentions how Carson's foundation was "now by far the largest of the Hollywood charities."

Does anyone know how this special use of the word now is supposed to be employed?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Now' has two meanings: "at the present time" and "from the present time onward". The former is absolute, and contrasts with 'then' in the past, but the latter is probably more common, and can be used relatively for the past:

    Laura eavesdropped on her husband's phone call to his secretary. Now she knew why he did so much overtime.

    'Then' wouldn't convey the right idea here: it connotes a sequence, or an inference, not a continuing state the way 'now' does.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    In EB's example, "now" denotes the time of Laura's eavesdropping on the phone call; "now" means "as of that time". Similarly, in the passage you quote, "now" refers to the time being discussed—that is, the statement became true as of August 2010.

    Having read these responses, Cholo now understood this use of "now". ;)
     
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