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I saw this scathing review of KY式日本語 on Amazon JP. This is the full sentence I'm asking about:

出版する意味を感じられない本は多数世に出ているが、これほど無駄な本というのもまた珍しい

Ignoring the もまた part, what I get from this is

While a lot of books where I don't see the point of publishing has come out, a "book" of such pointlessness is rare.

When used together, もまた seems to be used a lot of times in the sense of "too" or "again", but it seems a bit odd if I interpreted it that way here.

I'm wondering if perhaps this definition from 大辞泉 is a better fit in this context.

④ (上にくる副詞を強めて)驚きいぶかしむ気持ちを表す。それにつけても。 「よく-そんなことが言えたものだ」 「どうして-そんなことをしたのだ」

(Side question: does 上にくる副詞 mean the adverbs that follows また?)

Though that would still leave me in the dark about も's function here.

Thoughts?

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Side question first, so I will not forget. Whenever you see a 「上」 or 「下」 in an explanation in a Japanese dictionary, "Think Vertical" as in "vertical writing" and take the words 「上」 and 「下」 literally. 「上」 refers to what precedes something and 「下」, what folllows. Thus, 「上に来る副詞」 refers to 「よく」 and 「どうして」, respectively, in the example expressions.

On to the main question, we use 「も」 and 「また」 very often to NOT mean "also" or "again". This is clearly a weak point for many J-learners, which is why I have answered this same question dozens of times.

In the sentence, 「[出版]{しゅっぱん}する[意味]{いみ}を[感]{かん}じられない[本]{ほん}は[多数]{たすう}[世]{よ}に[出]{で}ているが、これほど[無駄]{むだ}な本というのもまた[珍]{めずら}しい。」,

Both 「も」 and 「また」 are used to express the speaker's sense of surprise (at how useless this particular book is). The author could have used only the 「も」, but he added a 「また」 for extra emphasis. Again, these words do not mean "too", "also" or "again" in this context.

To use as much of your own TL as possible, the senmtence means "While many books where I don't see the point of publishing have come out, a book of such pointlessness is extremely rare."

Reference:

「も」 Meaning 一-5 in: http://kotobank.jp/word/%E3%82%82?dic=daijisen&oid=18174500

「また」 Meaning 一-5 in: http://kotobank.jp/word/%E5%8F%88?dic=daijisen&oid=17319800

  • Regarding the 「上に来る副詞」, the examples on Daijisen seems to not follow this rule: 「―えらい失敗をしたものだ」「―なんときれいな花だ」, that's partly why I was confused about 上に来る. On the topic of 「も」 and 「また」 being a weak point, I think it has something to do with J->E dictionaries not mentioning those uses. – 3 to 5 business days Jul 27 '14 at 2:02

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