I'm a native English speaker, and my whole life I've felt like when people say 'some' plus a number, there is some implication that the number is big or surprising, but I can't find any mention of this in any definition anywhere. Still, I can't shake that feeling.
For example, on the bbc website today:
"Prof John Edmunds said cases were now "increasing exponentially". Some 2,948 UK cases were recorded on Monday, according to government data."
If 'some' just means approximately, why would someone say 'some 2,948' cases? Surely if you were going to give an approximation, you would say 'some 2,950' or 'some 3000'?
I feel like 'some' is used like this quite often. "They were expecting a handful of people to show up, but in the end there was a crowd of some 400 people".
Maybe it's just that there tends to be a correlation between the times when you would use an approximation and the times when there is an unexpectedly large number, but I feel like there's more than that, an actual implication in the word 'some'.
Can anyone help? Thanks!