Discussion:
a touch of human interest
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a***@gmail.com
2017-12-07 08:03:27 UTC
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1) This story has a touch of human interest that makes it very interesting.
2) This story has a touch of human passion that makes it very interesting.
3) This story has a touch of human nature that makes it very interesting.

Are these sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?

What does 'touch' mean in them?

To me, in such cases, 'touch' means 'a small quantity'. However, in these
sentences it doesn't seem to mean that.

I searched 'a touch of human' on google books and found quite a few cases
like 1-3.

https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22a+touch+of+human%22&num=10

Gratefully,
Navi.
Harrison Hill
2017-12-07 08:16:06 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) This story has a touch of human interest that makes it very interesting.
2) This story has a touch of human passion that makes it very interesting.
3) This story has a touch of human nature that makes it very interesting.
Are these sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
What does 'touch' mean in them?
To me, in such cases, 'touch' means 'a small quantity'. However, in these
sentences it doesn't seem to mean that.
I searched 'a touch of human' on google books and found quite a few cases
like 1-3.
https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22a+touch+of+human%22&num=10
It means exactly that. If you "touch..." something ...up", or apply
"a touch up" you add a small amount of paint to it: "a touch of paint".

A "touch" is a light brush, or hint, or suggestion, or nuance, or
indication. All your sentences are grammatical and idiomatic.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-07 08:24:43 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) This story has a touch of human interest that makes it very interesting.
2) This story has a touch of human passion that makes it very interesting.
3) This story has a touch of human nature that makes it very interesting.
Are these sentences grammatical?
Yes
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
In all cases, and especially in 1, where we've already seen that it's
interesting, I'd omit the "that makes it very interesting".
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'touch' mean in them?
To me, in such cases, 'touch' means 'a small quantity'. However, in these
sentences it doesn't seem to mean that.
I think that _is_ what it means here. If it meant more than a small
amount one could said so: "This story is full of human interest" ...
Post by a***@gmail.com
I searched 'a touch of human' on google books and found quite a few cases
like 1-3.
https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22a+touch+of+human%22&num=10
Gratefully,
Navi.
--
athel
s***@gmail.com
2017-12-07 20:43:57 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) This story has a touch of human interest that makes it very interesting.
2) This story has a touch of human passion that makes it very interesting.
3) This story has a touch of human nature that makes it very interesting.
Are these sentences grammatical?
Yes
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
In all cases, and especially in 1, where we've already seen that it's
interesting, I'd omit the "that makes it very interesting".
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'touch' mean in them?
To me, in such cases, 'touch' means 'a small quantity'. However, in these
sentences it doesn't seem to mean that.
I think that _is_ what it means here. If it meant more than a small
amount one could said so: "This story is full of human interest" ...
Post by a***@gmail.com
I searched 'a touch of human' on google books and found quite a few cases
like 1-3.
https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22a+touch+of+human%22&num=10
Athel's captured my view, it seems.

/dps

Mack A. Damia
2017-12-07 16:41:07 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) This story has a touch of human interest that makes it very interesting.
2) This story has a touch of human passion that makes it very interesting.
3) This story has a touch of human nature that makes it very interesting.
Are these sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
What does 'touch' mean in them?
To me, in such cases, 'touch' means 'a small quantity'. However, in these
sentences it doesn't seem to mean that.
I searched 'a touch of human' on google books and found quite a few cases
like 1-3.
https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22a+touch+of+human%22&num=10
Many recipes will call for a "pinch" or a "tad" of something - usually
a spice. This is usually translated as 1/16 ounce (or less than 1/8).
This will be used in recipes that might call for, say, several cups
(maybe 16 ounces) of an ingredient, say, flour.

"Smidgen", "dash", "drop" "hint" and "touch" are also used meaning a
very small amount. - ""when so little is needed that the exact amount
is irrelevant."

Dash= 1/8 teaspoon
Pinch= 1/16 teaspoon
Smidgen= 1/32 teaspoon

Beer recipe:

"some of my best bock recipes use a blend of Munich I and Munich II
for the majority of the grist (if not the entirety). I usually add at
least 10-20% pils for the enzymes. I also like a touch of cara munich
as well."

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=13651.0

Some martinis are made with a "touch" of vermouth. That could mean
waving the cork over the glass.

"Touch" is a rare amount in recipes. But it is found elsewhere:
Colors/tints.

"CREAM. - The best and purest tints of cream are obtained by tinting
zinc oxide with a little Naples yellow or by mixing eight parts of
white lead, two parts of French yellow ochre, and a touch of Venetian
red. French ochre and lead alone are often employed. Equal parts of
raw sienna and orange chrome used to tint white gives a nice cream,
but there are many other methods of obtaining this tint."

RED TERRA-COTTA. - Use equal proportions of burnt sienna and white
lead. The tone may be varied by the addition of either of the umbers
and the chromes. A good bright terra-cotta is also made by using
Venetian red as a base and colouring up with ochre and a touch of
lake.

http://www.scanz.org.nz/pm/color-recipes-modern-painter

"Touch" means a very small amount - or very slightly in your
sentences.
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