1

What does 'on so' mean and how it changes the meaning of the phrase?

Yes, I was going to ask Mr. Quinn why he insists on putting us and the rest of the world on so?

0

This is tricky because it combines a two-word verb (verb plus preposition) that is a separable two-word verb with an idiomatic usage of the word so. Separable two-word verbs can take direct objects and here, the direct object is a compound direct object: there are two of them.

The verb is: to put on, and it can take direct objects in typical usage such as:

Don't put me on.

Don't put us on.

You're putting us on, aren't you?

So is used to mean: so much or to a great extent and it placed after a verb in certain cases:

  • They do go on so. = They do go on so much. go on=to make a fuss, to whine about something.

  • She always is complaining so [so much] about her job.

  • He never used to whine so. [so much or to that extent]

The parse is therefore:

he insists on|| putting us and the rest of the world on|| so

The difficulty, therefore, is three-fold. There is to insist on (correct preposition for the verb insist), to put [someone] on with a double direct object (us and the rest of the world) and the so standing for so much.

who said English structure was easy?:)

| improve this answer | |
1

Parse this as putting on with so="in this manner" or "to this degree" as a modifier.

Put on here is extended from the metaphor of "donning" a disguise or false identity to mean "deceive" or "trick". You're putting me on means "You're kidding me, you're trying to trick me."

I was going to ask Mr. Quinn why he insists on deceiving us this way.

Note that the following line is

Some might be persuaded to doubt his sincerity

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.