that's enough of this foolishness

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Senior Member
Dear all,

She yelled at someone who kept telling impudent jokes at a funeral, "That's enough of this foolishness!"

I made up the sentence and guess "That's enough of this foolishness" means I can't stand your foolish behavior anymore.
Could someone explain what "that" and "this" refer to in the phrase?
  • srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm not sure I can answer, wanabee. The answer for "that" is simple. It refers to the telling of jokes. I'm sure that you know that "this foolishness" refers to the same thing. Your question must be, "Why 'this'?"

    "This" is more of a problem. She might have said, "That's enough of that foolishness" with the same meaning. She may have thought that repeating the word "that" would have detracted from the force of her statement - that the repeated sound would have struck the listener more forcefully than her rebuke. She might have switched to "this" to bring it closer to herself - to take ownership of what was going on, thus projecting a sense of her authority over it.

    The answer might be "this" is just what came out of her mouth.
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