Count for everything

Johnyxxx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Czech
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
Hello,

Can anybody tell me what the verb count for means in the text below?

Conradin was ten years old, and the doctor had pronounced his professional opinion that the boy would not live another five years. The doctor was silky and effete, and counted for little, but his opinion was endorsed by Mrs. De Ropp, who counted for nearly everything. Mrs. De Ropp was Conradin's cousin and guardian, and in his eyes she represented those three-fifths of the world that are necessary and disagreeable and real; the other two-fifths, in perpetual antagonism to the foregoing, were summed up in himself and his imagination.

Sredni Vashtar, Saki, 1910

Thanks a lot.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
It means that the doctor didn't amount to much - wasn't seen as very important or influential - unlike Mrs De Ropp.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
The doctor's opinion counts for little - that is, it's not important. De Ropp's counts for everything - that is, it's all-important.

Remember that Saki was a humorist. This is classic Saki irony. De Ropp's opinion isn't any more valuable than the doctor's.
 
Last edited:
Top