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That's saying a lot

[ 2010-06-23 11:14]     字号 [] [] []  
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That's saying a lot

Reader’s question:

One thing is certain: The browser in 2015 will play an even larger role in our daily lives than it does right now--and that's saying a lot. "Everyone needs to support the Web," says Upson. "The Web has billions of users." Could you explain “that’s saying a lot”?

My comments:

And “that’s saying a lot” - that shows how important the Internet is. As is explained later, the Web has billions of users.

If a fact “says” something about someone or something, it means to emphasize that they exhibit a certain quality or character.

Here’s a dictionary example (Longman): “The fact that he returned the money says a lot about his character.”

Obviously he has a good character – he’s not greedy and did not take other people’s money as his own.

The opposite colloquial phrase would be: “that’s not saying much”, to emphasize that a particular statement isn’t quite unusual.

Again, the dictionary example (Longman): “She’s taller than me, but I’m only 5 foot 2 (about 1.55 meters), so that isn’t saying much.”

Here’s a web example (Nice To Meet You: Embracing the Self-Evolution of Motherhood, Keenesentinel.com, May 24, 2010):

There is almost nothing I do as well as I did before, except parenting, which I didn’t do before so that isn’t saying much. Life before kids and life after kids is like apples and oranges. Actually, it’s more like apples and spaceships.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.