some single

Bahareh_12

Senior Member
Persian
So why might Dawkins want to follow Frazer in reducing religion to some single universal trait, neglecting (if, indeed, he is aware of it) the mass of research that suggests it is much more complex and diverse, incapable of being forced into a simple set of universal beliefs or attitudes?
Ref
Hello. Could "some single" here be substituted with "more or less single"?
Thank you.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It means "to one single universal trait" or "a single universal trait," but the use of "some" emphasizes that the exact nature of the trait is not being specified at the moment.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I rather think this meaning of "some" is closer to "an unspecified" (Compare "Some thief has stolen my wallet!")
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'd say that the difference between "a single universal trait' and 'some single universal trait" lies in the vagueness of "some", suggesting perhaps that this trait (if it even exists) is hardly worthy of consideration. It seems to me to signal the speaker's disbelief that such a universal trait could be singled out.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'd say that the difference between "a single universal trait' and 'some single universal trait" lies in the vagueness of "some"…
    I agree. And I think the point of using “some” is to imply intentional vagueness, with just a touch of contempt/scorn.
     
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