Over the past three decades, Oregon has earned a reputation for having the most restrictive land-use rules in the nation. Housing was grouped in and near the cities, while vast parcels of farmland and forests were untouched by so much as[B] a suburban cul-de-sac.
Thanks for your reply Casiopea, but I can't agree with you.
...were untouched by so much (to such a degree that they can be considered) as a cul-de-sac.
Above is my understanding and originally, I was wondering if "by" here was a must-have because I think the sentence is still complete without "by" here.
I don't quite understand your meaning of "A cul-de-sac did not touch...". "A cul-de-sac" means a dead-end lane, right? In my opinion, the author wanted to say that the "vast parcels of farmland and forests" were not accessible, or not allowed to be developed, just as one couldn't get through "a suburban cul-de-sac".
Looking forward to your further explanation. Thanks
Last edited by chinawangyong; 26-Nov-2004 at 15:10.