General Writing and Grammar Help/It takes some beating

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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please explain the meaning of "it takes some beating" in the following sentence?

As celebrity gossip goes, it takes some beating: actress and model Elizabeth Hurley has year-long affair with Bill Clinton while he was US President.

Also, why is it "has year-long affair" and not "has A year-long affair"?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Would you please explain the meaning of "it takes some beating" in the following
sentence?

As celebrity gossip goes, it takes some beating: actress and model Elizabeth
Hurley has year-long affair with Bill Clinton while he was US President.

Also, why is it "has year-long affair" and not "has A year-long affair"?

*** The sentence is very poorly written.  It sounds like the headline for an article, and grammar rules are often ignored for headlines, since they must be really short.

*** "It takes some beating" means that the "rumor" is so wild and outlandish, it will take another even more outlandish rumor to "top" this one.  In other words, this rumor is at the top of the list, and it is not likely to be overcome [topped] by any other rumor.  It cannot be "beaten."

And, yes, there should be an "A" before "year-long affair."  If the line is from a headline or beginning of a story, that would explain why you got an "abbreviated" version.  As I said, the sentence is very poor.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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