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Does "even" mean something here?

Who the fuck? Even. Was this douche?
Piper forced her chin up and followed the beast to the back of the bar—the bar which was essentially the size of her closet back in Bel-Air—and up a narrow staircase, Hannah in tow. God, he was freakishly big. Just to make it up the stairs, he had to bend down slightly, so his beanie-covered head wouldn’t hit the ceiling.

Tessa Bailey "It Happened One Summer"

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    It's an unconventional way of expressing her thoughts in disjointed words rather than a complete sentence. Apparently she knew nothing about the man; she didn't even know who he was. Sep 6, 2022 at 10:33

2 Answers 2

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The use of "even" here implies that the person in question is (or is doing something) disagreeable and the character is asking a very basic question with the intent of invalidating the person's presence/involvement in the situation.

It doesn't have to be a question. A statement of fact works, too. This is used in the film Mean Girls where one character is giving a very awkward speech that makes everybody uncomfortable, and another character shouts "She doesn't even go here!"

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There are two things going on here.

  1. Putting periods after each word is a way of telling the reader to slow down when reading. Usually this is done for emphasis. For example, "I was frightened" is a conventional sentence. But if you write, "I. Was. Frightened." that tells the reader to read each word with a pause between. It adds tension and emphasis. Note this is not "conventional English grammar", but is fairly common these days.

  2. "Even" as used here means that something that might be expected isn't true. It's usually used to indicate that even some minimum level of ... whatever ... is not met. For example, if you say, "I didn't know his name", that could be a simple statement of fact. He was a stranger to me, so I didn't know his name. But, "I didn't even know his name" means that under the circumstances you would be expected to know many things about him, but in fact you know little or nothing. You don't EVEN know his name. Similarly, you might say, "He wasn't rich. His income wasn't even above average." Or, "She didn't enter the house. She didn't even get out of her car." Etc.

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