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Reply to "meaning of "top" and "exceed""

@fujibei posted:

The number of novel coronavirus cases both in Tokyo and Kita-Kyushu was in double digits and the paper says “Tokyo … has topped double digits,” “Kita-Kyushu…exceeding double digits.”
I understand the word “top” and “exceed” mean surpass. If so, the article sounds like the numbers both in Tokyo and Kita-Kyushu were more than double digits and doesn’t seem to make sense. Please clear up my confusion.

Hi, Fujibei—You raise an interesting point. I agree with you that topping or exceeding double digits means surpassing double digits, which I suppose means going into triple digits, contrary to the writer's intended meaning.

It would have been better if the writer had used "has topped the double-digit mark," "has exceeded the double-digit mark." That is the intended meaning. The double-digit mark is ten. The number of new cases surpassed ten.

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