There was the following paragraph in Washington Post (March 26) article under the headline, “The 5-minutes fix: What to make of Stormy Daniels.
“Daniels is openly profiting from her newfound fame with more jobs and by becoming a national figure. That’s desirable outcome for anyone in the entertaining industry, much less a porn star who wasn’t a household name before all this.”
Here the phrase, ”much less” is used apparently in positive context, following the previous remark. I was under impression that “much less” is used to emphasize negative aspect of the preceding statement. Actually,
www.merriam–webster defines “much less” as “not to mention, used especially in negative contexts to add to one item another denoting something else.”
www.collinsdictionary defines it as “You use much less after a statement, often after a negative one, to indicate that the statement is more true of a person, thing, or situation that you are going to mention next.”
Cambridge dictionary defines it “and certainly not.”
Is it normal to use “much less” in positively reaffirming the preceding statement as used in the Washington Post’s article?