KudoZ home » English » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters

Nor am I a bit surprised

English translation: and I\'m not at all surprised

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:nor am I a bit surprised
English translation:and I\'m not at all surprised
Entered by: Tony M
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

13:34 Dec 17, 2010
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Social Sciences - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: Nor am I a bit surprised
sentence taken from the novel of Stephen King, full sentence as follow;
"'I want to know what's going on here!' the man in the crew-neck jersey exclaimed abruptly. His face was dead pale except for two spots of color, as bright as rouge, on his cheeks. 'I want to know what's going on right now.'
'Nor am I a bit surprised,' the Brit said, and then began walking forward."
Hakki Ucar
Turkey
Local time: 13:27
and I'm not at all surprised (you want to know...)
Explanation:
If this follows immediately on as you've indicated, then I can perfectly understand the idiom here, it's common enough in idiomatic English speech.

The first person says (apparently rather emphatcially!) that they want to know what is going on, and the British speaker comes back with "nor am I a bit surprised" — "it's not surprising that you'd like to know what's going on"

The 'nor' doesn't have its usual meaning here, hence why there is no pairing with 'neither', nor is there any other preceding negative.

Compare with the following example, which is not quite the same, but an equally common construction:

"I don't intend to let the boss bully me!"

"Nor should you"

In this case, one could argue that the first remark contains a negative — but it isn't really that from which the 'nor' follows on.

I don't know how to explain it in official grammatical terms, but I think of it as being like someone wanting to say 'and ... not' — so 'nor am I surprised' is really like saying 'and I'm not surprised'. Using this construction requires the usually rather archaic-sounding subject/verb word order reversal.
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 11:27
Grading comment
Agree, good explanation, thanks.
Also thanks other people here,their answer is also good.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
5 +1and I'm not at all surprised (you want to know...)
Tony M
4I am not surprised at all either
Noni Gilbert
4I am not the least/en a little surprised, either.
Thayenga


  

Answers


21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
nor am i a bit surprised
I am not the least/en a little surprised, either.


Explanation:
Hope this helps.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 53 mins (2010-12-17 14:28:02 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

this is, of course, to read...
I am not the least/not even a little surprised, either.

Thayenga
Germany
Local time: 11:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
nor am i a bit surprised
I am not surprised at all either


Explanation:
This should be a follow-on from some other negative statement (Neither .... nor is the full structure), although I can't see it in the text you include.

If you say you are not a bit surprised, the opposite is not actually true (in other words, it doesn't mean that you are more than a bit surprised, for example!) In fact the meaning is that he is not surprised at all, as Thayenga says, not even a bit.

The English use the litotes as a structure (stating the opposite with a negative, "I am not unhappy with his progress"), but this is not the case here.

Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 11:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: >This should be a follow-on from some other negative statement >(Neither .... nor is the full structure), although I can't see it in the text >you include. Yes, it is because the text doesn't have full structure ..

Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
nor am I a bit surprised
and I'm not at all surprised (you want to know...)


Explanation:
If this follows immediately on as you've indicated, then I can perfectly understand the idiom here, it's common enough in idiomatic English speech.

The first person says (apparently rather emphatcially!) that they want to know what is going on, and the British speaker comes back with "nor am I a bit surprised" — "it's not surprising that you'd like to know what's going on"

The 'nor' doesn't have its usual meaning here, hence why there is no pairing with 'neither', nor is there any other preceding negative.

Compare with the following example, which is not quite the same, but an equally common construction:

"I don't intend to let the boss bully me!"

"Nor should you"

In this case, one could argue that the first remark contains a negative — but it isn't really that from which the 'nor' follows on.

I don't know how to explain it in official grammatical terms, but I think of it as being like someone wanting to say 'and ... not' — so 'nor am I surprised' is really like saying 'and I'm not surprised'. Using this construction requires the usually rather archaic-sounding subject/verb word order reversal.

Tony M
France
Local time: 11:27
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 285
Grading comment
Agree, good explanation, thanks.
Also thanks other people here,their answer is also good.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Stephanie Ezrol: I thinks its a bit of British understatement stuff
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


Changes made by editors
Dec 19, 2010 - Changes made by Tony M:
Edited KOG entry<a href="/profile/615862">Hakki Ucar's</a> old entry - "Nor am I a bit surprised" » "and I\'m not at all surprised (you want to know...)"


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search