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I read this in Word by Word by Kory Stamper:

Try it: "this will only take a week" and "this will only take about a week" mean almost the same thing. The pivot point for meaning is not "take" but "about" which means that this use of "take" is a straightforward transitive use.

As we know, "pivot" here means the central or most important. What I want to ask is why the author is considering "about" as the pivot point whereas it should be "take" in my opinion? Because "about" is sort of redundant here. Without it there is no alteration in the meaning of the sentence. Am I right?

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    The meaning turns on not "take", but "about". That's to say there's a central point about which the two expressions "turn" (that central point being the word "about"). I'm not sure I even understand what the writer is getting at, let alone agree with him. But in "literal" terms, that's what he's saying (though quite how this makes this use of "take" a straightforward transitive use is beyond me). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 29 '19 at 15:30
  • @ FumbleFingers this should perhaps be an answer. – David Siegel Sep 29 '19 at 23:47

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