Matthew in Missouri writes:
The phrase "very much so" seems to be an acceptable response in Mid-America…but is it grammatically correct? I will ask my wife a question, and her answer is sometimes "Very Much So". Something about this phrase just rubs me the wrong way.
My wife contends that since several doctors she works with use this phrase, it is proper to use it as a "stand alone" response. My contention is that, when used as a full response, it is incorrect and lacks class and refinement.
I hate to get into husband-wife arguments! But in this case, your wife and her doctor colleagues are correct.
Several meanings of "so" refer to the truth of something: "It's raining." "That is so." "Captain Picard, we can contact the aliens." "Make it so."
So...we can say "Quite so!" when we hear something we agree with. And if we say, "Very much so," we are simply intensifying our agreement, just as if we were saying, "Very true!"
And when your wife says, "Well, I was right after all," I suggest you take a deep breath, and smile, and say, "Very much so, dear."