I came across the following paragraph,

When I first wrote the book in 1975 and 1976 the word and concept of Post-Modernism had only been used with any frequency in literary criticism. Most perturbing, as I later realized it had been used to mean 'Ultra-Modern'... While I was aware of these writings... I used the term to mean the opposite of all this...

I didn't get the meaning of any in the first sentence. Was the author trying to emphasize the high or low frequency, or else? Any help is appreciated!

  • The paragraph is from The Language of Postmodern Architecture by C. Jencks.
    – Charles99
    Mar 30, 2021 at 6:43
  • 1
    It means "had not been used much except in literary criticism." Mar 30, 2021 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


A useful definition is:

All: DETERMINER You use any in positive statements when you are referring to someone or something of a particular kind that might exist, occur, or be involved in a situation, when their exact identity or nature is not important.

”Any actor will tell you that it is easier to perform than to be themselves.”

”I'm prepared to take any advice.”


In this case, any frequency refers to all examples of repeated use of the word, regardless of the detail, the nature or the precise relevance. It implies that the word may have been used elsewhere than in literary criticism but, if so, only occasionally.

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