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A passion for books and the words inside them saved me from ever knowing a moment’s loneliness during library hours.

-- The Power of Words by Benita Porter

What do I have to pick up for the ‘ever’ on OALD or Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary?

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    If "saved me from ever knowing" was rewritten as "meant that I never knew", would you understand? :) – WendiKidd Aug 31 '13 at 0:11
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Ever means "always", or "for the entirety of time".

Consequently

A passion for books and the words inside them saved me from ever knowing a moment’s loneliness.

means that "A passion for books and the words inside them" are responsible for the author never "knowing a moment's loneliness".

The sentence then ends with an additional time constraint:

A passion for books and the words inside them saved me from ever knowing a moment’s loneliness during library hours.

What this caveat does is it constrains "never" to mean "whilst the library was open".

So in conclusion, the sentence as a whole means that whilst the library was open for business, "a passion for books and the words inside them" saved the author from "knowing a moment's loneliness".

  • One way to rephrase this: "Because I was passionate about books, I never (not even for a moment) felt lonely during library hours." – Tanner Swett Mar 17 '14 at 17:44

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