1

The context

In fact, those people were probably disappointed when they saw another show that didn’t contain something as, well, as elaborate or exciting.

Sentence A.

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as, well, as elaborate or exciting.

I did not understand that the meaning of as and usage of as.

Is sentence A a complete sensence or just informal sentence?

I understand that usually people say something exciting.

the word something is in front of the adjective exciting.

Are there two words as or is there only one word as?

I am not sure which is correct?

Is sentence B correct?

Sentence B.

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as elaborate or exciting.

How is Sentence B different from Sentence A?

Sentence C with two as.

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as elaborate or exciting as the previous show.

4
  • It is of course unfortunate that "as well as" (without commas) means something completely different. Dec 31, 2021 at 15:31
  • 1
    Is this a transcription of someone speaking?
    – Lambie
    Dec 31, 2021 at 15:43
  • @Lambie Yes. A transcript of a lecture from preparation for TOEFL Listening. Dec 31, 2021 at 15:52
  • @BillJ Your comment was flagged as "answering in the comments" and I couldn't disagree. Please consider posting it as an answer.
    – gotube
    Jan 1, 2022 at 2:41

5 Answers 5

2

Both Sentences are correct:

The difference is that sentence A uses ,well, as a style element which breaks the sentence apart to attract more attention. To complete and make the sentence sound right, you have to repeat the second as.

5
  • Is this "...something as elaborate or exciting as the previous show" the same as suggestion you made? Dec 30, 2021 at 16:27
  • 1
    are you referring to your edit? Sentence C is repeating show, which doesn't make it sound good.. I'd use sentence C like : when they saw another show that didn't contain something as elaborate or exciting as the one they have seen previously.
    – Vickel
    Dec 30, 2021 at 16:32
  • Wow, the word "one" is indeed better. thx Dec 30, 2021 at 16:35
  • 1
    or even: when they saw another show that didn't contain something as elaborate or exciting as the previous one
    – Vickel
    Dec 30, 2021 at 16:37
  • 4
    The writer is pretending to pause while they consider what adjectives to use. Dec 30, 2021 at 16:49
12

Well here is being used as an interjection, possibly to soften the assessment that the show is not elaborate or exciting.

As is repeated because of the pause created by the interjection.

As you guessed, the sentence as a whole could read:

In fact, those people were probably disappointed when they saw another show that didn’t contain something as elaborate or exciting.

2

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as, well, as elaborate or exciting.

COMPARE: Standard grammar:

when they say another show that didn't contain something as elaborate or exciting [as something previously mentioned in the text]. The comparison can be implied if the subject matter has already been mentioned.

Speech:

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as, well, as elaborate or exciting.

Speech contains a number of features such as repetition of words or truncation of phrases, among other things. In this case, the word "well" is just an interjection like this:

  • He didn't, well, really go to the party.

  • Well, he didn't go to the party.

  • when they saw another show that didn't contain something as, well, as elaborate or exciting.

There is one repetition of as. "well" is an interjection or discourse marker. A speaker will typically pause after the first "as", say "well" and then add "as elaborate or exciting" without finishing the implied comparison. Not repeating the noun phrase or noun [as elaborate or exciting as something] is fine in speech.

2
  • I looked up the dictionary Collins. One entry says [You say well just before or after you pause, especially to give yourself time to think about what you are going to say.] Could this entry have similar meaning with or the same meaning as your explanation? Jan 3, 2022 at 1:58
  • 1
    @StatsCruncher Yes, it can also be in the middle, as in this example from the OP.
    – Lambie
    Jan 3, 2022 at 2:16
2

As pointed out by Katy, "well" is being used as an interjection. The following informal alternative form is also valid:

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as... well, as elaborate or exciting.

1

The existing answers are not very clear on the specific nuance of A. Well, the interjection "well" generally connotes a deliberation about how to say something, so A means:

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as (well, how shall I describe it?) as elaborate or exciting.

In particular, it conveys B as well as indicates that the one who was thinking A had a little pause to think about how to describe the earlier show. Depending on the context (which is not evident from the short quote you provided), this could be anything from just a mental pause with no implication to a conscious avoidance of some more natural description. If it is the latter, then A might mean:

when they saw another show that didn't contain something as elaborate or exciting (to put it nicely).

4
  • @Lambie: I disagree; such interjections can be used in written text as well, even if it may be less common.
    – user21820
    Jan 2, 2022 at 22:27
  • @Lambie: I said "the one who was thinking A" and stand by it; the interjection need not be spoken. Whether you think it is aping speech or not does not stop people from using it in writing.
    – user21820
    Jan 2, 2022 at 22:42
  • @Lambie: I agree with you that "well, how should I describe it?" is essentially speech from the author to the audience. I think there was a miscommunication. I did not mean that this particular instance was not speech-like. I meant that the interjection "well" in itself does not have to be speech-like, and it is up to the context to determine whether or not it is. In most cases, it is speech-like, but it doesn't have to be if it is part of a thought with no audience (except oneself).
    – user21820
    Jan 3, 2022 at 11:07
  • Is the mental language speech? I say it is not, because there are times I form a coherent thought that I just can't find the words for. And my thoughts do include components that are best represented in writing by certain interjections like "well", and whether it is a completely faithful representation is besides the point. All I was saying is that being speech-like is not an intrinsic part of the semantics of "well". If you insist that even wordless thoughts are speech, then I guess I am speechless.
    – user21820
    Jan 3, 2022 at 11:13

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