"Alex made everyone in the company nervous. He was a strange man, was how many described him."
I don't get the second sentence. Does this mean that a surprising number of people described Alex was a strange man?
Also, is it possible to use this construction with other verbs than "describe"? For example, can I say idiomatically "..., was how many people said about him"?
Eamer
"Alex made everyone in the company nervous. He was a strange man, was how many described him." I don't get the second sentence. Does this mean that a surprising number of people described Alex was a strange man?

Yes, but there is no indication of a surprising number.
Also, is it possible to use this construction with other verbs than "describe"? For example, can I say idiomatically "..., was how many people said about him"?

No, it has to be "..., was what many people said about him."
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
"Alex made everyone in the company nervous. He was a ... surprising number of people described Alex was a strange man?

Yes, but there is no indication of a surprising number.

Now you made me realize that I was completely mistaken about the construction. In fact there was nothing strange about it. Thanks!

Eamer
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X-No-Archive: yes
"Alex made everyone in the company nervous. He was a strange man, was how many described him." I don't get ... construction with other verbs than "describe"? For example, can I say idiomatically "..., was how many people said about him"?

"Many described him as a strange man." Always go for the simple option.

James Follett. Novelist (Callsign G1LXP)
http://www.jamesfollett.dswilliams.co.uk and http://www.marjacq.com
Yes, but there is no indication of a surprising number.

Now you made me realize that I was completely mistaken about the construction. In fact there was nothing strange about it. Thanks!

There's nothing odd about the construction only the punctuation is crazy:
"Alex made everyone in the company nervous. 'He was a strange man' was how many described him."
Gary
Now you made me realize that I was completely mistaken about the construction. In fact there was nothing strange about it. Thanks!

There's nothing odd about the construction only the punctuation is crazy: "Alex made everyone in the company nervous. 'He was a strange man' was how many described him." Gary

That won't work, however, if what they actually said was "He is a strange man." That is how I interpreted the original sentence, that the man in question was still working at the company at the time his cow orkers were discussing him.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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