Usage and Grammar

Q. I am editing a ms for young adult fiction and this sentence struck me as odd, but I can’t find any reference on CMOS that it’s wrong: “We both have places to be, however much I’d like to stay here with her the rest of the day.” I’m having trouble with “however much.” I commented in the ms that replacing “however much” with “as much as” would flow better, but I’m curious if “however much” is actually grammatically wrong.

A. “However much” is grammatical, but it’s rather formal and educated and perhaps elderly-sounding, and it isn’t popularly used this way anymore. (“However” here doesn’t mean “on the other hand” but “to whatever degree or extent.” Read some dictionary entries on “however” and you’ll get the idea.) If the character in the book is a young person, you would be right to edit it.