Like freezeframe, I don't understand the grammar of the quote. I would understand it if it were either
People do not like defeat and they do not like the explanations, however elaborate or plausible, which are given to them.
People do not like defeat and they do not like the explanations, however elaborate or plausible, which are given of it.
As it is, it doesn't make sense to me. "Them" cannot stand for "defeat", because "defeat" is singular. "Them" cannot stand for "people" either, because it's not people who are said to be explained.
Them references "explanations."
What does "which" reference?
Originally Posted by SoothingDave
My mistake. "Them" refers to defeat. Which refers to the explanations.
Originally Posted by birdeen's call
My apologies. I did not realise what freezeframe was referring to when she wrote, "But now that I reread it, it hurts my brain. Is he treating "defeat" as plural?" As a result, I really thought she was pulling my leg when she wrote, ""Explanations which are given of/for explanations?" This would clearly be weird.
I made the same mistake as the writer - I thought the meaning was clear -
"Defeat is bitter. There is no use in trying to explain defeat. People do not like defeat and they (=people) do not like the explanations, however elaborate or plausible, which (=explanations) are given of them (=defeats)."
The writer made a jump from uncountable 'defeat' to plural 'defeats' without allowing for it. This sort of thing is common in speech, where it often goes unremarked; good writers try to avoid it.
So, I admit that the writer made a mistake, and that I did not spot it. I have to say that I am still puzzled that others failed to see what the writer intended. The writer understood it; I did (so readily that I did not spot the mistake); SoothingDave understood it after a hiccup; I am guessing that bhai understood it; yet others appeared baffled.
Last edited by 5jj; 27-Apr-2011 at 22:45.
Reason: typo. What a surprise
I'll give Churchill some slack.
The intended meaning was clear to me too. (I'm not sure how readily -- I don't remember.)
PS: I believe the problem with understanding must have been caused by mistaking "of" for "to".
Last edited by birdeen's call; 27-Apr-2011 at 22:49.
Originally Posted by suprunp
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) All the posters have done a brilliant job in explaining this. And thank
you for for the great question.
(2) Apparently Sir Winston -- if he wanted to observe the rules -- should
People do not like defeat, and they do not like the explanations, which
are given of it.
People do not like defeats, and they do not like the explantions, which
are given of them.
(3) As you may know, Sir Winston failed his English class and had to
repeat it. He said that he was glad that he was forced to do so.
If anyone wants a model of clear, concise, and vigorous English, s/he
should carefully study Sir Winston's writings. His style shows the
glory of the English language.
I congratulate you and your equals on the impressive acuity the rest of us lack.
Originally Posted by fivejedjon
But, understanding what the writer meant doesn't make the sentence as such make sense. This is, after all, a forum for discussing English grammar...
Originally Posted by fivejedjon
Thanks for the sarcasm. Not everyone can be as smart as you. Next time, keep it to yourself.
By Mad-ox in forum General Language Discussions
Last Post: 27-Oct-2007, 11:02
By ian2 in forum Ask a Teacher
Last Post: 27-Jun-2007, 13:03
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO