"nearly" - approaching something from above

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Aug 2 19:11:22 UTC 2012

"Facebook shares fell nearly [no, wait for the next one] 4 percent on
Wednesday to $20.88 -- nearly half of what they were worth when the
company went public on May 17."  And later in the article, "At
$20.88, it has nearly lost half its value."  NYTimes, today.

The price the article is comparing to is $38 a share, so it has lost
slightly less than half its value.

The middle "nearly" of these three is jarring.  To me, "nearly"
means approaching a number from less than that number.  The OED
definitions do not seem to have a directional sense.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list