100% GOOD (1 votes)Resolved QuestionLanguage Question
This is a ridiculous amount of money

I've heard someone using this expression meaning "it is a huge amount of money."

is it correct ? It's strange because in French (and I think in many other languages), ridiculous rather means "small". surprise

  • 3 answers
Tace profile picture Tace   
vincent, yes, it is correct, but please understand something. We might emphasize an idea by using a word in an unexpected way. Just as a neologism is when we make a new word, we might use a word in a new way. I might say that I got so much money it is stupid. That doesn't seem to make sense at all, but if you ponder it for a while, you MIGHT... FEEL the intention of this use of the word "stupid." It is certainly unintuitive.

Now let me point out that the word "ridiculous" could also be used to indicate that the amount of money was not nearly enough, as in:

"You want to give me $5.00 for a diamond? That's ridiculous!"

In this case, the word "ridiculous" is used in a traditional sense.

I hope this helps.
    4 weeks ago100% GOOD (2 votes)
  • vincent profile picture vincent   
    Thanks Tace and Doval, it helps a lot!
      4 weeks ago
  • Doval profile picture Doval   
    It might help to note that a synonym of "ridicuouus" is "absurd," which may also be used in this context to indicate a large amount. Same thing for "crazy." The basic idea is that the amount of money is so large that it defies logic, something that is conveyed by any one of those word choices. Maybe a good visual tool for making sense of the word choice here is to imagine how someone might react upon hearing how much money: disbelief, treating it as a joke, etc. Of course, that may apply in multiple contexts, not just when dealing with a large sum of money.
      4 weeks ago