Q:Presumably /the state’s needs /you /are /most familiar /with /is Silicon Valley, where /you /would reside. How much / of your inspiration / for this proposal / was /about (that area being its own state)?

A: I’ve always had a real interest in California, and I’ve always had an interest in how to improve the state. I live in the Silicon Valley, but I have business interests all over the world. So I do visit all different parts of California, so I’m interested in the whole, not necessarily any individual part. I love the energy and technology that comes out of the Silicon Valley, but I believe that when these six Californias come together, that we will all be surprised at how much innovation and spirit comes out of all six of these states.

  • 1
    Why is there so much punctuation in that sentence? Where did you get it from? It's a grammatically poor sentence that doesn't look like a native speaker wrote it, so looking for "meaning" in it doesn't really feel like something that ELL can really help you with. Is there something specific in the sentence you were having trouble with?
    – Matt
    Feb 24, 2014 at 16:26
  • @Matt Those horizontal slashes are not punctuation. They merely are a parsing of the sentence, which sounds completely native to me.
    – Lambie
    Jul 31, 2021 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


I understand it like this:

How much of [your inspiration for this proposal] was about [that area being its own state]?

The context seems to be about the idea of splitting California into many states and the the person who answered the question was expected to reside in one of these.

Basically, the question is of the pattern:

How much of X was about Y?, where
- X is [your inspiration for this proposal], and
- Y is [that area being its own state].

This means that the question was about how much the idea [that area (he would reside in) being its own state] had inspired his "proposal" (of splitting California into many states).

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