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apple posted:

(1)  “In our samples, ninety percent of the plastics we are finding are microfibers… Those are often times originating from textiles or other fibrous synthetic products.”

What does "times" in the sentence  mean?

Hi, Apple,

"Oftentimes" (one word now, not two) is an adverb meaning "frequently" here. The OED's definition, with quotations, is below:


oftentimes, adv.

Now chiefly North American; otherwise archaic or literary.

 1. Many times; on many occasions; in many cases; frequently, often.

a1393   Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) v. 4777 (MED)   Often times of scarsnesse It hath be sen that for the lesse Is lost the more.
1417   in R. W. Chambers & M. Daunt Bk. London Eng. (1931) 290 (MED)   Right trusty and Welbeloued brother, We grete yow often tymes Wel.
1444   Rolls of Parl. V. 117/2   He to forfaite as often tymes as he offendith.
c1475  (▸1392)    Surg. Treat. in MS Wellcome 564 f. 118v (MED)   Þou schalt often tymes anoynte þe place wiþ colde symple medicyns.
a1500  (?c1400)    Sir Triamour (Cambr.) (1937) 60   The kynge..oftentymes dyde wepe.
1541   T. Elyot Image of Gouernance vii. f. 15v   He shalbe so oftentymes warned.
1567   G. Fenton tr. M. Bandello Certaine Tragicall Disc. 494   Whereupon followeth oftentimes a number of indifferent mishaps.
1611   Bible (King James) Heb. x. 11   Offring oftentimes the same sacrifices.  
1668   in Rothesay Town Council Rec. (1935) I. 147   He was ofintymes callit and did not compeir.
1720   J. Quincy tr. N. Hodges Loimologia v. 138   Those which went no further than the Skin, would oftentimes slough off.
1774   J. Bryant New Syst. I. 495   These buildings were oftentimes light-houses.
1800   Wordsworth Pet-lamb in Lyrical Ballads (ed. 2) II. 143   This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat.
1846   R. C. Trench Christ Desire of All Nations ii. 33   An oftentimes fatal readiness.
1876   Tinsley's Mag. 18 180   They ‘gag’ to such an extent that the author oftentimes does not recognise his own dialogue.
1902   Jrnl. Amer. Folk-lore 15 14   It is oftentimes difficult to discover their identities, since they bear many attributal or descriptive names.
1960   M. S. Bishop Subsurface Mapping ix. 135   Oftentimes the gentle slopes of paleotopographic surfaces are indicative of much steeper dips on the underlying beds.
1994   Vincentian 22 July 9/3   Often times we tend to forget that all economies (whether developed, developing or undeveloped) are interdependent.


apple posted:
(2)“So you think about the, you know, literally millions of garments like this that are being washed every day. And..."

What is "the" after "about"?

"The" introduces the noun phrase "the millions of garments," into which both a parenthetical insertion ("you know") and an adverb ("literally") have been added. The noun phrase is also post-modified by a prepositional phrase ("like this") and a relative clause ("that are being washed every day").

The entire noun phrase is "the, you know, literally millions of garments like this that are being washed every day." That noun phrase functions as the object of the preposition "about" in "think about." "You know" is just conversational filler, like "uh," but some linguists might classify it as a pragmatic "discourse marker."