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What is the meaning of " the more" in the following passage?
Is it an idiom?

As there is no incontrovertible evidence, the more expensive bread (or coffee, etc.) must compensate by increased advertising.


  • @MohammadReza, there's not enough evidence in this one isolated sentence.

    As there is no incontrovertible evidence

    This is meaningless because the sentence doesn't explain Evidence of what?.

    the more

    Before we can tell the meaning, we need to know What's the grammar?.
    Two possibilities:
    1. part of the NOUN PHRASE the more expensive bread
    2. an ADVERB introducing a CLAUSE the more expensive bread is

    The problem with [1] is that it produces the clause

    the more expensive bread (or coffee, etc.) must compensate

    Again this makes no sense because it doesn't explain Compensate for what?.

    The problem with {2] is that it's only one clause.
    This use of the more is employed in two parallel clauses. For example

    the more the consumers turn to cheaper food and drink, the more expensive bread must ....

  • Thanks for your answer.
    The whole passage;

    Supermarkets now carry their own products to compete with the national brands. These
    “house” brands are not in a felicitous position because they cannot be advertised widely.
    Supermarkets overcome this encumbrance by making these brands less expensive. Many
    people believe the shibboleth, “You get what you pay for,” and they purchase items on the
    pr emise that quality varies as the price does. Are the claims made by nationally advertised
    brands bogus? How can one bread company substantiate its nutritive superiority over
    another? As there is no incontrovertible evidence, the more expensive bread (or coffee, etc.)
    must compensate by increased advertising. They make inordinate claims, using those
    raucous techniques proven so successful in convincing the frugal consumer to switch to a
    more costly brand.

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019

    OK, this is how I read it.

    The companies that produce bread with branded names claim that their products are more nutritious than the 'own brand' bread sold by the supermarkets. But they produce no evidence to substantiate that claim. Does that mean that the claim is a lie? How can the brand-name bakeries persuade the public? If they can't deploy evidence, they must deploy more and more advertising.

    On this reading, the more expensive bread means 'the people who produce the more expensive brands of bread'.

    It's like saying

    Oil and coal have persuaded some politicians to doubt climate change.
    Agriculture was opposed to the treaty.
    The press is united.

    In these examples, it's really people who do things

    • compensate for the lack of evidence
    • persuade polticians
    • oppose a treaty
    • unite

    But a figure of speech presents a situation in which things do things

    • the more expensive bread — actually the marketing executives of the producer
    • oil and coal — actually the executives of oil companies and coal mines
    • agriculture — actually the spokesmen for farmers
    • the press — actually the people who decide editorial policy of newspapers
  • Thanks so much 👏🌷🌼

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