The following text is an excerpt from this article (the last paragraph) :

But the dyspeptic diatribes came in spurts, and the president whipsawed between frustration and freewheeling meetings and golf outings, including one on Saturday with the president of the P.G.A. and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two people familiar with his playing partners. Still, Mr. Trump was frustrated by the news media’s coverage of his rally in New Hampshire. He repeatedly complained about misleading pictures of empty seats, or that attendance at the arena had beat Elton John’s record crowd there, but no one was covering it.

I don't think the adverb still here expresses opposition nor does it express continuity, so what is its meaning then in this context?

2 Answers 2


To some extent it's unimportant whether we, the readers, agree there is enough of a contextual change to merit using "still". The important thing is that the writer feels the conjunction is warranted. It may be slightly confusing, but then again a news article represents the observations of some human being -- in this case the Times reporter -- who follows a certain train of thought.

The clue here may be in the subtext. The New York Times and Donald Trump are not friends. It may be a common, if unstated, tactic in the Times newsroom that anything even remotely flattering the president should be immediately discounted with the use of some negation such as "still", "however", "nevertheless", and so on -- certainly true when the overarching purpose of the article is to suggest Trump's bullish economy is starting to fail.

This is getting into the deeper nuances of the written word, which exist in any language. The reporter actually addresses the animosity between the Times and the President, and does not pull punches when, for example, she suggests that the President's flippant dismissal of an academic study (reported in the Times) showing the negative effects of Trump's trade war with China, should not be taken seriously (specifically the line, "despite abundant data to the contrary"). Statements like this represent conscious choices, intended to convey a certain impression, along with the purported facts.

Point being, sometimes you have to "read between the lines" to get the full context.


I believe you are correct. The preceding sentence indicates that the President was back-and-forth between frustration and his outings (an odd pair to denote) -- considering that, and your remarks, I would agree that the usage of still is strange. I invite other answers to perhaps shed some lost meaning into this.

On a slightly less objective approach, given the over-the-top nature of the first sentence's word choice, I am a little inclined to believe that the author didn't have any grand meaning for that extra word, or large assortment of extra words. It looks as though they had a word count to fill, or were petitioned by an editor to be more verbose. This is my own conjecture, however.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .