She more than delived the goods

ottaviocr

Senior Member
UK
Italian
Found this sentence on a mock bio of an actress in the "Cambridge Objective CAE" student book:

"She more than delivered the goods, she was an overnight success".

Let's ignore the comma for a second (I'd have put a semicolon instead). I know that "delivering the goods" is idiomatic and acceptable in formal language, but "more than", sandwiched between the subject and the verb is new to me and sounds a bit too colloquial. Maybe that was indeed the intention of the writer?

Incidentally, I found the fragment quite common in movie/music/sports reviews, e.g.:
"more than delivered the goods" - Google Search

I wonder if this is acceptable in formal language or it is confined to journalism slang.

Thanks.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "More than" + past participle is formal enough for business communications: she more than met the requirements for the job etc. It does have a slightly colloquial tone, but not in a slangy way.
     

    ottaviocr

    Senior Member
    UK
    Italian
    "More than" + past participle is formal enough for business communications: she more than met the requirements for the job etc.
    In your example, "met" is simple past, not past participle. I agree that "More than" + past participle or adjective is fine; my question was about "more than" + verb. Sorry for being pedantic. I just want to make sure I've understood what you said.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In your example, "met" is simple past, not past participle. I agree that "More than" + past participle or adjective is fine; my question was about "more than" + verb. Sorry for being pedantic. I just want to make sure I've understood what you said.
    You're correct. "Met" is also the participle form, but in this example it's the simple past.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "More than" + past participle is formal enough for business communications: she more than met the requirements for the job etc. It does have a slightly colloquial tone, but not in a slangy way.
    I agree with that fully but I don't think that "delivered the goods" is formal. I think it's the opposite. Delivered the goods is bordering on slang. Adding "more than" doesn't change it one way or the other.

    "More than met the requirements" would be fine anywhere because "requirements" has a specific meaning.

    "I'd be more than happy to help you" would be fine because "happy" has a specific meaning.

    "Delivered the goods" has no specific meaning. It's entirely dependent on context. "The goods" can have sexual overtones, as well. I would never use that in a truly formal context, and reserve it for informal or near-informal uses. (Reviews like that I would consider near-informal.)
     
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