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Mind your language

‘Quite’ has gone quite wrong

10 December 2022

9:00 AM

10 December 2022

9:00 AM

Something has gone wrong with the use of quite. Someone wrote in the Telegraph: ‘Beating Brazil at a World Cup? Quite the experience.’ Then I heard: ‘It’s been quite the dreich day.’

The annoying part is the the. An idiom does exist with quite the, but the meaning is different. If my husband displayed his portly figure in a snug piece of fashion, I might be tempted to say: ‘You’re quite the Beau Brummell this evening.’

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