I was drawn to the phrase, “Too fast for comfort” in New York Times (August 10) article with a headline, “China devalues its currency amid economic slowdown.:
The move appeared to be a response to signs that the economy was slowing too fast for comfort and could raise tensions with trading partners like the United States.
As I was unfamiliar with the usage, “too close for comfort,” I searched for its meaning on google, and found the following definition with The Free Dictionary instead:
Too close for comfort = [for a misfortune or a threat] to be dangerously close. Example: That car nearly hit me! That was too close for comfort.
I also learned that “too＋adjective＋for comfort” can be used as well in the way of “too fast, hot, warm, crammed, and so on, for comfort.”
What “for comfort” does mean? Does it mean “dangerously” as deducible from Free Dictionary? What can the phrase, “for comfort” add specific implications to, or the meaningful distinction from simply saying “too fast (slow, close, far, hot, cold, whatever)?
It’s as a matter of course that “too fast, hot, cold, crammed” isn’t comfortable, needless to say. Isn’t it redundant and affected to say “too fast (slow, close, far, hot, cold) for comfort," whichever in writing and in conversation?