that are not necessarily of universal interest.

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Senior Member
5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

This is a story line that Americans hear from birth; it is no wonder that Lewis’s books are popular despite subjects that are not necessarily of universal interest.

This kind of use of "necessarily" confuses me.

Could someone please explain to me what does the bold part mean?
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  • boozer

    Senior Member
    They may be of universal interest, but that is not by all means the true. Of course, here the whole phrase sounds like an understatement - they are probably not at all of universal interest.


    American English
    that are not necessarily of universal interest
    that are not really of interest for the masses
    that are not particularly interesting for most people

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Part of my puzzle, with very little context, is the apparent contradiction between starting the sentence with the idea of 'all Americans hear this storyline from birth' and the end 'the subjects are not of universal interest'.
    It is either sloppy writing or makes more sense if you know more about Lewis's books and the distinction between the storyline and subjects.

    I don't know the format of your source, GRE practice problems. Do you only get single, decontextulised sentences?
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