Does it mean "the same as..."?

“We think pure discount-rate moves of this nature — that lead to a joint selloff in high- and low-beta assets — are unlikely to be sustained in this environment where inflation is low and weakly pro-cyclical,” Saroliya said. Sustained joint selloffs are more a feature of periods like 1974 and the early 1980s, when supply shocks triggered countercyclical inflation, he explained.

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-janet-yellen-still-calling-the-tune-in-financial-markets-2017-07-10

1 Answer 1


When we say that something is more a feature of X we mean that it is more characteristic of X {than it is characteristic of Y}. In your sentence, Y corresponds to "this environment where..."

Sustained selloffs are more characteristic of periods like 1974 and the early 1908s than they are (characteristic) of this environment where inflation is low and weakly procyclical.

In the passage you quote, the Y comparand is implicit.

A rabbit won't eat bananas. That food is more a feature of simian diets.

  • It might be worth pointing out that whereas characteristic can be used as both an adjective and a noun, feature can only be used as a noun. You've used the former four times in your answer text, but always adjectivally. It could have been used as a noun in OP's context (with the article, as ...[selloffs] are more a characteristic of [those periods]), but whereas the article can be discarded to give a valid adjectival usage with characteristic, this doesn't work with feature. Jul 11, 2017 at 12:45
  • I would reduce "more a characteristic of" to "more characteristic of" in any case. Existential status (a characteristic of something) is absolute: something is or is not a characteristic of X. Degree comes into play with the adjective, characteristic, "more | less characteristic", in which case there's an implicit "often". It is more often a characteristic of...
    – TimR
    Jul 11, 2017 at 12:48
  • It's true we rarely include the article in more characteristic of, but I doubt semantics come into it - I think it's just a matter of established idiomatic preference. Jul 11, 2017 at 13:02
  • ...compare is more symptomatic of / is more a symptom of, where the noun form is as common as the adjectival one. Symptoms and characteristics are just as "absolute" as each other, to the extent that means anything. Jul 11, 2017 at 13:05
  • If the intended meaning is "more likely to occur with X than with Y" then I would say "more often a feature of X". Though I do concede that many people say "more a feature of X" in just that scenario. And that they do has proven to be a problem for OP, and I blame the writer there, not the reader.
    – TimR
    Jul 11, 2017 at 13:41

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