[Ads-l] "too ..." = "so ... as"? -- and not merely "but" should be "and"?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jan 29 17:50:52 UTC 2015

In a NYTimes article today on the recent exchanges of gunfire between 
Hezbollah and Israeli forces:

/begin quote/
"It's a very delicate game, because both sides want to respond hard 
enough that they're not perceived as weak, but not too hard to start 
a war," said Benedetta Berti of Israel's Institute for National 
Security Studies.
/end quote/

If one side retaliates "*not too hard* to start a war", then wouldn't 
a war *not* be started?  I would say "but not so hard as to start a war".

I don't see this as merely "but" improperly replacing 
"and".   Retaliating "and not too hard to start a war" seems to have 
the same  meaning, that a war would *not* be started.


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

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