English Vocabulary


I didn't understand the following sentence "Willy, the security guard is becoming more and more (hairy) of a player each day."


  • Hi Jishnu,
    I wish I could help, but at first I hadn't the slightest idea of what it could mean.
    But it rang a bell, now I remember what it was about, an exercise about most, more... and who was the most hairy.
    It could be the explanation of 'player', as it was like a competition, in which Willy the body guard was winning as the most hairy...
    I'm not sure, i just try to make it match...
  • Funny, funny, Pimpanella! You might be right - why not? - as the GymGlish team is well-known for being crazy at organizing odd meetings, odd phone calls, odd games and whatever odd events.

    Though I don't think that 'hairy' is here running with its first meaning 'covered with hair' or 'hairs'. Hairy has another meaning, less formal, that looks like what we can see in cartoons. As a character faces a dangerous situation, it gets drawn with raised hair. So, 'hairy' also means risky, unsafe, dangerous, frightening as long as a situation is at stake. When a character is at stake, I think it means fraught while facing difficulties or risk-taker.

    About 'player', is Willy really playing? Playing a game to have fun? Playing a game of chances for stakes? To my mind Willy is more likely called 'player' as he is an actor, an active participant in the staff of the Delavigne Corp., notably on the premises of the Corporation where he is in charge of the security.

    "more and more hairy of a player"
    This is a more hairy grammar issue to me.
    I spontanelously understand it as an enhancement of the adjective by putting the latter before the article and the name.
    Say: A hairy player
    To emphasize "hairy", I'd say: hairy a player.
    To emphasize again: more and more hairy a player.
    I wonder whether the descriptive proposition 'of' doesn't make stronger the adjective hairy (???).
    Anyway I take it so.

    I had a glance at my workbook where are listed all my lessons but I couldn't find the text you mentioned, Jishnu. By the way I reached right now my 1433rd lesson, so, either I couldn't come across the lesson, or I didn't ever get it as my topics of interest don't match yours, Jishnu.

    I hope this helps anyway. I wish you and Pimpanella a sunny spell in the English corner of your heart.
  • If we left out the adjective in parentheses, the sentence would make perfect sense: (and it would simplify the issue of explaining)

    "Willy is becoming more and more of a player."

    Even if we didn't come on the same page concerning the meaning of "player " (there are in fact some),
    we can agree on what this sentence says grammatically.

    The construction "to be ´{adjective of quantity} of a {sth}" is familiar and used predominantly to emphasize that the quantity (or quality) of something or somebody exceeds or disappoints an exception :

    [b]"There is not much of a competition around here"[/b] means: The competition is not high, but it was expected to be higher. (the negation with NOT is an indication for an expectation being disappointed).

    Conversely, if you say:
    [b]"Willy is much of a player."[/b], it means "Willy is quite a player, but I expected him to be NOT such a good player".

    And, in comparison mode:

    [b]Willy is becoming more and more of a player[/b] it's obvious what it wants to tell us.

    When it comes to the adjective "hairy", it might be that injecting an adjective into the aforementioned constructing is shifting the evaluated quality from just „good or bad“ to something specific, that is „hairy“ in this case.

    [b]Willy is becoming more and more hairy of a player[/b].

    which means: „Willy is not evaluated as a good or bad player, but as a „hairy or not hairy player“, and he is becoming, surprisingly, a more and more hairy player.

    Having said that, when it only comes to the grammar, it doesn't really matter what "hairy" means here. We can grasp the grammatical sense of the sentence and can bring our interpretation into play what the word means. By the way, "hairy" is only applied to situations, not persons: A situation is "hairy" when it is becoming difficult or risky. Again, having said that, I would be be inclined to interpret „hairy“ in the literally sense, however kinky it might sound. In face of the whimsical storytelling of GymGlish, it would be not surprising.
  • Hi AhQ, thank you for your sunny spell, I take it as a birthday present,
    and for your deep thought on the question, it's hard for me to follow because it's far beyond what I was able to imagine.

    Anyway I learnt from you and Spoiler that hairy can mean dangerous, and the very interesting meanings implied in the constuction "to be more/much of", and in the order of the words.
  • 'Deep Thought' said: "I thought it over quite thoroughly. The answer is forty-two." :)
  • ??
    forty-two ?
    A private joke ?
    This again seems to be beyond my imagination ;-(

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