This is the Message Centre for toybox
KB Started conversation Apr 14, 2010
I just saw your question while lurking and saw it hadn't been answered. But usually "many a person" (or "many's the person", either) mean exactly the same as many people - but they are more colloquially used.
There's also a slight, subtle difference in usage. Trying to put my finger on it...Hmmm.
"Many a person" sort of implies conditionality. Or perhaps *tendency* to do something. For example, you wouldn't say it about a specific event - eg. "Many a person was trapped in the 9.43 train to London today", but you might say "many a person would like to win the lottery/has been in X general situation..."
Not sure how clear the above is. But basically I'd say it's just a bit more chatty or colloquial.
toybox Posted Apr 15, 2010
Ok, thanks a lot
Maybe in the case of being trapped you wouldn't say "many a person" because it is a crowd, or many people together, which were trapped, whereas for the lottery it is a large amount of individuals?
Anyway, maybe I'll try to use it now, with a most natural expression on my face. I fully expect many an English speaker to laugh and tell me, "but you wouldn't say it like this in this context"
Key: Complain about this post