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  1. #1
    germux is offline Newbie
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    Post Misuage of 'Insofar As'

    Many dictionaries say that "insofar as" means "to the extent that". But in some writing, "insofar as", when placed at the beginning of a clause, seems to be used as "given the extent to which that". Could that be a misusage?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Misuage of 'Insofar As'

    Welcome to the forum, germux.

    "given the extent to which that" is not natural English, so writers cannot really be meaning that. Can you give us an example of a sentence in which you think 'insofar as" is being misused?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 06-Apr-2013 at 23:44.

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    germux is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Misuage of 'Insofar As'

    Enhancing my question slightly:

    First usage: [X] insofar as [Y]
    Second usage: Insofar [A], [B]

    In the first usage, [X] happens to the extent defined by [Y]. Ideally for the second usage, it is [B] that should happen to the extent defined by [A]. But sometimes in the second usage, it is [A] that happens to some undefined extent, and [B] happens but is something unrelated to [A].


    The following fits the second 'wrong' usage:

    Insofar as all of the above are potentially real sources of unrest, Xi’s speech emphasized the problem-solving function of the party.
    SOURCE: nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/11/22/dawn-of-a-new-china/dont-expect-big-changes-in-china
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 07-Apr-2013 at 07:57.

  4. #4
    probus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Misuage of 'Insofar As'

    Personally I don't see anything wrong with it. Both "to the extent that" and its synonym "insofar as" are a frequent part of my everyday usage, although I do prefer "to the extent that."

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