0

I have some difficulty in comprehending the meaning of the following quote from an article in Huffington Post

But for many people, getting better sleep may not be so much a question of getting rid of noise as a question of replacing it with better noise.

My guess:
Getting better sleep is a question of replacing it with better noise. And the question of getting rid of noise is much less important.

The sentence structure in the quote is quite hard for me to understand at first sight. Could anyone provide more insight?

0

WendyG answered the meaning of the quote itself quite well I think, though I'll summarise it here.

People usually believe that getting rid of noise is needed for sleep, but replacing the noises with better ones can work too.

"So Much As"

So Much As is a variation on "As Much As".

It's one of the more awkward and clunky common phrasings in the english language, explaining it is a real challenge.

But for many people, getting better sleep may not be so much a question of getting rid of noise as a question of replacing it with better noise.

"So Much As" is literally a value-comparison.
What's being said in the quote is that the normal Answer(Sleeping in silence) is not always ideal and that the alternate answer(Sleeping with the right noise) may be better.

It's made more confusing by describing solutions to the problem as "questions". They're not, it's just english being weird and applying Similes where they don't make any sense and forcing the phrasing into knots to support this behaviour.

To summarise it down into a simpler version that retains all the same connotations and meaning.

In the problem of Getting Better Sleep; Many people may find Getting Rid of a Bad Noise to be a lesser solution than Replacing them with a Better Noise.

| improve this answer | |
1

But for many people, getting better sleep may not be so much a question of getting rid of noise as a question of replacing it with better noise.

This is from an article entitled

Why Noise Could Be The Secret To Better Sleep A doctor explains how white noise can make a major difference in your quality of rest.

so your line is a summary line, a TL;DR in internet forum speak, it is summarising the most important point from the article as a whole. So it is saying

**Ok everybody wants better sleep. People presume that removing all noise is what they need to do to get a better nights sleep. The research[1] has shown that actually humans need some background noise to sleep, but the right sort of noise **

This is where I am failing the "so much ... as " is another wording of "instead of ... try ..." But this is a really wordy sentence, and I can't neatly break it down.


[1] but as this is a huff post fluff piece I doubt the research is either rigorous, conclusive or even actually says that.

| improve this answer | |
  • This clarifies the meaning of the overall paragraph, but I'm not sure it answers the question of "so much as". You may also find breaking up your summary of the paragraph into a couple lines helps readability. – Ruadhan2300 Aug 22 '18 at 12:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy