Qualified success

Michael B Quinion michael at QUINION.COM
Thu Apr 11 08:39:56 UTC 2002

Another subscriber to World Wide Words has written with an intriguing
query concerning this phrase.

He asks whether it means "first-rate success" or one which has to be
restricted in some way. He comments that people he hears using it (he
is from Edmonton, Canada) mean the first sense.

Is there evidence to suggest that the term is being misunderstood in
this way to any significant degree? If so, it would return it to a
sense which the OED marks as long obsolete.

Michael Quinion

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