long the bulk

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
Many of its smaller buildings were designed to resemble the homes of wealthy Boston Brahimns – long the bulk of Mclean’s clientele.

What does this long the bulk mean, please?
This is a citation from “A Beautiful Mind” by Silvia Nasar (p.255; Touchstone Edition 2001)

Thanks in advance,
Thomas
 
  • nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thomas1 said:
    What does this long the bulk mean, please?
    This is a citation from “A Beautiful Mind” by Silvia Nasar (p.255; Touchstone Edition 2001)

    Thanks in advance,
    Thomas
    As panj said.

    Plus... the trick [to understanding many English phrases] is in figuring out the missing context. This often helps resolve the word associations / groupings.


    Many of its smaller buildings were designed to resemble the homes of wealthy Boston Brahimns – [for a] long [time they were] the bulk of Mclean’s clientele.

    Plus a definition:
    the bulk of [something] = the majority of it = most of it.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Thanks for you answers, nycphotography thanks for the hint :), to be honest I was thinking that it might be the meaning you gave but I supposed that it could be something different, more difficul to understand,
    conclusion is don't look for hidden meaings, take the easiest way out :D
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    I'm mildly surprised that more than one person expanded the elliptical portion as an independent sentence. This is perfectly reasonable and reflects how people sometimes speak or write. But the most natural interpretation is as a relative clause:

    the Brahmins -- who were long the bulk of Mclean's clientele.

    Regards,
    Dale
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thomas1 said:
    Thanks for you answers, nycphotography thanks for the hint :), to be honest I was thinking that it might be the meaning you gave but I supposed that it could be something different, more difficul to understand,
    conclusion is don't look for hidden meaings, take the easiest way out :D
    Actually, with English, the hidden meanings are often piled layer on layer on layer. The choice of words and phrasing combined with tone and delivery gives subtle nuances of meaning that continue to amaze even native speakers.

    The language itself is a toy for a talented speaker/writer. Usually, native speakers automatically understand what the meaning was. Sometimes we choose not to so we can take offense and cause a media ruckus ;-)
     
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