another meaning reversal

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 23 02:28:07 UTC 2010

Yes, thanks! I noticed it, but as soon as I went to look for a
standard example, I forgot to mention it.


On Sat, May 22, 2010 at 9:04 PM, Gordon, Matthew J.
<GordonMJ at> wrote:
> It might be important that in the example that Victor cited it's "so much OF a peep" not "so much as a peep." Thus, it's interpretable as "something that is very peep-like," in other words it was only a peep and nothing louder.
> -Matt Gordon
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
> Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2010 7:47 PM
> Subject: Re: another meaning reversal
> At 7:51 PM -0400 5/22/10, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>>... like "he could care less".
> Interesting.  Only three other hits for the hyponegative "with so
> much as a peep" (i.e. the positive form with negative meaning), all
> in legal/political contexts, compared to 91,400 for "without so much
> as a peep".  So (some will say thankfully) no threat yet to the gold
> standard of hyponegs, "could care less" or "that'll teach you".
> LH
>>This from the Volokh Conspiracy blog:
>>>Yet in /Graham/, federal law was invalidated with so much of a peep
>>>from the SG's office.
>>"So much as a peep" is a reference to non-action by the Solicitor
>>General, so the usual use I would have expected is "not so much as a peep".
>>>There has been not so much as a mention of teh essay on the /Weekly
>>>Standard/ or /National Review/ sites; there has been not so much as a
>>>peep from AIPAC, which Beinart explicitly attacks.

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