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The next day Mr. Martin followed his routine, as usual. He polished his glasses more often and once sharpened an already sharp pencil, but not even Miss Paird noticed.

Does more often mean "more than usual"?

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    Because the previous sentence mentions "as usual", this "more often" would mean "more often than usual". – Damkerng T. Feb 21 '14 at 23:43
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    Although I would have written it as: The next day Mr. Martin tried to follow his routine as usual... Because clearly he did not manage to duplicate his routine exactly. – Jim Feb 22 '14 at 4:02
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    @Jim I agree that he didn't duplicate it exactly. I think that "tried to follow" indicates a greater degree of failure than just excess glasses-polishing and unnecessary pencil-sharpening though. Maybe he "mostly" followed his routine or maybe it was "almost as usual". – starsplusplus Feb 24 '14 at 9:13
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I would say like this:

He polished his glasses more often than he usually does

OR

He polished his glasses more frequently than he usually does

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    The end of each sentence should read "usually does", not "do usually". – snailboat Feb 23 '14 at 18:11
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"More often" refers to an action that is done generally often already and now that frequency is being increased. The passage is indicating an exaggerated behavior that he is carrying out which emphasizes his state of mind: anxiety or stress.

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  • He polished his glasses more often and once sharpened an already sharp pencil, but not even Miss Paird noticed..

This means that he did it "more often that usual"; usually he polished them less often.

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