Interested in Language
I am somewhat confused. Having checked my dictionaries, they all agree that "somewhat" is a synonym of "something". The following example is taken from The American Heritage Dictionary:
"The news was somewhat of a surprise."
"The news was something of a surprise."
However, I was told that it is not correct to say:
“The speaker is somewhat of a patronizing character.”
And that I should say:
“The speaker is something of a patronizing character.”
Could anyone throw some light on this, please? I’d be most grateful.
In BrE 'somewhat', despite its origins, functions only as an adverb (e.g somewhat better), with 'something' as the only standard pronominal form.
Opinons on "somewhat of" seem to vary. On the internet, I've found people considering it anything from an error to a more natural version of "something of".
I didn't think the point I was making was so difficult to get. I thought it quite apparent. However, here goes the explanation for those who missed it:
"Quite. As far as BrE goes. In E not quite so."
BrE - British English
E - English without tags.
Maybe it will clear any confusion and exchanges like the following:
- Where is BrE?
- I dunno. BrE was ere a minnit ago.
I did think the same about previous posts between some of the subscribers, but I took it as a probable show of British humor and that if they had found it funny they'd find the second version funny too. I didn't. Just trying to please...