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She is terrified of flying…so much so that often she has to fight an inner turmoil even to step on the plane.

So much so that Lenin commissioned a leading party organizer and Georgian, Josef Stalin, to write a counter-attack (Both are from BNC).

I favored "so much so" in the first sentence more than that in the second. I think it is not good to start a sentence with "so much so".

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  • If someone asked or implied a question of "how much...", I can see a person eliding what would basically be a repetition of the question, and saying "So much so that..." but without context, it does not work at the beginning of a sentence. Could you give the context the led up to the sentence about Lenin?
    – TecBrat
    Oct 14, 2013 at 14:54
  • Ordinarily, "so much so" should not begin a sentence. In a speech, however, the repetition of the words at the beginning of three or more consecutive faux sentences could be appropriate and perhaps make the content of the sentences more memorable. For example, "Sally is terrified of flying. So much so, she won't pick up a friend at the airport. So much so, she vomits when she hears the word 'airplane.' So much so, she won't date a pilot. So much so, she . . .." I commend this construction for content that is more serious, however; e.g., "Democracy is important. So much so . . .," etc. Oct 15, 2013 at 0:37
  • With all these interpretations from you rhetoricians, I agree that "so much so" can be put into good use in some formal writing, but in academic writing, still I will be hesitant to use it.
    – benlogos
    Oct 15, 2013 at 4:51
  • Starting a string such as the one given here with 'So much so that' (or 'Except that ...' or 'Even to the extent that ...' and so on) does not produce a 'sentence'. But if, as here, the fragment is otherwise well-constructed and makes sense, it is perfectly acceptable in informal registers. After all, who would answer the question "Where's the remote, love?" with "The remote is on the table"? You just have to decide on how formal the writing has to be. Jun 27, 2019 at 19:54

3 Answers 3

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So much so that Lenin commissioned a leading party organizer and Georgian, Josef Stalin, to write a counter-attack (Both are from BNC).

This particular sentence would be considered incorrect. It would be classified as a sentence fragment and needs something before the "so much so".

Your first example was the correct usage:

She is terrified of flying…so much so that often she has to fight an inner turmoil even to step on the plane.

Do note that in an informal context you can split these two parts into different sentences:

She is terrified of flying. So much so, that often she has to fight an inner turmoil even to step on the plane.

This deliberately breaks the rule about sentence fragments as a conscious stylistic choice. This is common in fictional literature and would not be recommended in a professional or academic context.

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  • Should your first sentence (after the 'Lenin' block quote) say "incorrect"?
    – TrevorD
    Oct 14, 2013 at 14:45
  • @TrevorD: Yes. It was a typo. Thanks for pointing it out.
    – MrHen
    Oct 14, 2013 at 14:47
  • I disagree that the first example exhibits correct usage. Punctuation with ellipses is incorrect or inappropriate in the example. Using a comma would be better. Oct 14, 2013 at 18:20
  • I wasn't attempting to comment on punctuation. I felt that was a different question. (Personally, I'd use a dash here.) I can certainly update it with a comma if that's what people think is best.
    – MrHen
    Oct 14, 2013 at 18:33
  • I agree with you, MrHen, that an em-dash turns the first example into a perfectly legitimate sentence. I suspect that the transition "so much so" is far more common in spoken English than in written English, and occurs when a speaker belatedly decides to follow up on a point that was already in some sense a complete thought. In writing, authors tend to go back and alter the original wording of a sentence to incorporate the additional idea, instead of breaking off from it with "so much so." For example, "She is so terrified of flying that even stepping on a plane is quite traumatic for her."
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 14, 2013 at 23:30
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The first rule of style is not to let the so-called hard-and-fast rules of grammar kill your prose. As long as the context is laid out well before using so much so, either in continuation or as the first words of a new sentence, I do not think you have a problem to fret over. That goes for academic writing as well, so much of it is written often in tedious and boring form.

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  • Good point, but this is a comment not an answer.
    – Luc
    Jan 4, 2016 at 1:56
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Is "so much so" correct at all ?

I only know :

  • so much

  • so much that

  • so much as

  • so much for

  • so much the (better ! / less to do.)

I never heard "so much so", except in colloquial speech.

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  • 1
    ODO on so much so that
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 14, 2013 at 14:17
  • -1 Please do not answer a question with a question. As Andrew has demonstrated, Yes! "so much so" is perfectly correct.
    – TrevorD
    Oct 14, 2013 at 14:47

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