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Hello Friends,

I am making a quest into the usage of 'none more so than', 'no more than', 'any more than' and no less than' phrases.

1) Following is the excerpt from the book, 'China : A history' authored by John Keay.

...So the rise of a new dynasty was heralded by a rash of favorable omen, none more so than the excavation of some hoary artefact.

Can this sentence be interpreted as:

..So the rise of a new dynasty was no more heralded by a rash of favorable omen than the excavation of some hoary artefact.

or

Not any favorable omen heralded the rise of a new dynasty more than the excavation of some hoary artefact.

or

A rash of favorable omen hrealded the rise of a new dynasty as much as the the excavation of some hoary artefact did.

If these interpretations are correct, is it legitimate to state the following:

(not an extract from the book)

China's history is so essential to master at that no student of history should ignore it, none more so than the history of India.

can be paraphrased as:

China's history is as essential to explore as is the history of India.

2) I can no more apologize than I could kneel to them.

Can it be intepreted as?

It's as much unlikely for me to apologize as to kneel to them.

3) Is there any difference between no less than... and no more than...

I would be obliged to learn the answers of these queries.

Regards,

Sabya
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Sabyakgp
1) Following is the excerpt from the book, 'China : A history' authored by John Keay.

...So the rise of a new dynasty was heralded by a rash of favorable omens, none more so than the excavation of some hoary artefact.

Your second interpretation is pretty close, but "none more so" must refer to the adjective "favorable" so I would prefer to paraphrase like this:

None of the omens that heralded the rise of a new dynasty was more favorable than the excavation of some hoary artefact.

Neither of your other two interpretations is right.

Sabyakgp
If these interpretations are correct, is it legitimate to state the following:

(not an extract from the book)

China's history is so essential to master at that no student of history should ignore it, none more so than the history of India.

can be paraphrased as:

China's history is as essential to explore as is the history of India.

No. Your first sentence ("China's history is so essential to master...") doesn't make any sense. The second sentence is OK by itself.

I think by the first sentence you might mean something like:

China's history is so essential to master that no student of history should ignore it, any more than they should ignore the history of India.
Sabyakgp
2) I can no more apologize than I could kneel to them.

Can it be intepreted as?

It's as much unlikely for me to apologize as to kneel to them.

Yes, except you don't need the word "much".
Sabyakgp
3) Is there any difference between no less than... and no more than...

Yes, very much so. For example,

"You must spend no less than one hour on this." -- An hour is the minimum time you can spend.

"You must spend no more than one hour on this." -- An hour is the maximum time you can spend.

"I like his second book no less than his first." -- Implies that I like both books.

"I like his second book no more than his first." -- Implies that I don't like either book.
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Thanks Mr. Wordy.

You said that he following:

China's history is so essential to master at that no student of history should ignore it, none more so than the history of India

does not make any sense. I would like to know what precisely constitute the function of none more so than... phrase?

Regards,

Sabya
Sabyakgp
You said that he following:

China's history is so essential to master at that no student of history should ignore it, none more so than the history of India

does not make any sense. I would like to know what precisely constitute the function of none more so than... phrase?


"... none more so than X" means that of a set of things previously mentioned, none has an attribute previously mentioned to greater extent than does X. Your sentence doesn't fit this pattern. (An unrelated minor problem is that it should be "essential to master" not "essential to master at".)

A couple of Googled examples:

"But more guys than ever are taking a hands-on approach to their working clothes, none more so than Poulter." -- means that of all these guys, no one has a more hands-on approach to their working clothes than does Poulter.

"Individual instruments also get their opportunity to shine, none more so than the harp which comes to almost symbolise Rusalka." -- means that of all the individual instruments, none gets a better opportunity to shine than does the harp.

"Some people are very piggy, and none more so than the 3 am drunk fresh from the pub, and wanting food." -- means that where piggy people are concerned, no one is more piggy than the 3 am drunk.
Thanks a lot for an insightful answer Mr. Wordy.
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"China's history is so essential to master at that no student of history should ignore it, none more so than the history of India."

This statement as written is senseless. I’ve no idea what the history of India has to do with anything unless the writer is trying to say that China’s history is no more (or less) important for the student to master than India’s.

Also, “…master at…” must be a typo. The word “at” should be deleted.