typically <unmoved by> environmental problems


Senior Member
Hi, would you please explain the meaning of the red part of the following sentence, from a English test. Thanks a lot.

No less incendiary amongst the populace than many other “hot button” issues of the day, “fracking”—or hydraulic fracturing of the earth’s surface to acquire gas, a practice that mostly takes place in remote parts of the country—has been curiously absent from the national dialogue come election time, perhaps because voters are typically unmoved by environmental problems that do not occur in their own backyards, so to speak.
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  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    If someone is "moved by" something, it affects them emotionally - perhaps strongly. Saying "they are unmoved by X" is the same as saying "they don't care about X.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "so to speak" is a poor thing to tack onto the end of a sentence that is already much too long. Here it means "when I say in their own backyards I don't mean that literally, I'm just using an expression".

    By "in their own backyards" he actually means any area near enough to them that they care about it - someplace "local". But readers already know that, so "so to speak" is wasted.
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