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    #1

    if not altogether impossible

    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to ask what the phrase "if not altogether impossible" implies in the following context:

    Sometimes the challenges come from others. Every now and then, you findyour sunlight blocked by other leaves. You are left in the dark and your photosynthesis grinds to a halt.

    We all have experience with such a situation. There are always negative people around who will cast their shadows over us. By their words or actions they can put us in a state of darkness where it is difficult, if not altogether impossible, to progress spiritually.


    Does the phrase in question mean it is very difficult, but still possible (to progress spiritually), or does it imply that it is entirely impossible?

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    #2

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by KLPNO View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to ask what the phrase "if not altogether impossible" implies in the following context:

    Sometimes the challenges come from others. Every now and then, you findyour sunlight blocked by other leaves. You are left in the dark and your photosynthesis grinds to a halt.

    We all have experience with such a situation. There are always negative people around who will cast their shadows over us. By their words or actions they can put us in a state of darkness where it is difficult, if not altogether impossible, to progress spiritually.


    Does the phrase in question mean it is very difficult, but still possible (to progress spiritually), or does it imply that it is entirely impossible?
    if = although
    altogether = completely
    altogether impossible = completely impossible
    not altogether impossible = only marginally possible
    if not altogether impossible = although only marginally possible

  1. Khosro's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamako3 View Post
    if = although
    altogether = completely
    altogether impossible = completely impossible
    not altogether impossible = only marginally possible
    if not altogether impossible = although only marginally possible
    I'd rather explain it in another way. I don't like to say that if=although. if=if.
    Last edited by Khosro; 12-Feb-2011 at 17:49.

  2. Khosro's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by KLPNO View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to ask what the phrase "if not altogether impossible" implies in the following context:

    Sometimes the challenges come from others. Every now and then, you findyour sunlight blocked by other leaves. You are left in the dark and your photosynthesis grinds to a halt.

    We all have experience with such a situation. There are always negative people around who will cast their shadows over us. By their words or actions they can put us in a state of darkness where it is difficult, if not altogether impossible, to progress spiritually.


    Does the phrase in question mean it is very difficult, but still possible (to progress spiritually), or does it imply that it is entirely impossible?
    The text does not say that it is still possible or entirely impossible. It has doubts about it. It says that it is difficult and even perhaps impossible.

    perhaps you don't understand why it says "if". We can rewrite the sentence like this:

    If it is not altogether impossible, (then atleast) it is difficult to progress spritually.

    If not this then that.

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    #5

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Thank you very much, Khosro.

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    #6

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    I don't like to say that if=although. if=if.
    It is not a matter of taste.

    even though: an enthusiastic if small audience.
    If | Define If at Dictionary.com

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    #7

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by KLPNO View Post
    Thank you very much, Khosro.
    On what grounds do you discriminate helpers? Their member status?

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    #8

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamako3 View Post
    It is not a matter of taste.

    even though: an enthusiastic if small audience.
    If | Define If at Dictionary.com
    I think I can undertsand "if" in "if not altogether impossible" without converting it into "although". Just with a combination of "if" and "atleast", and I think "atleast" is the omited word here.

    I don't know if I can explain it to the others in the same way I understand it and I might be wrong. It's not a matter of taste but I do not consider it just my taste.

    In my opinion, "if" has a concept, I'd better say a function. From this concept/function some different meanings emerge. Meanings such as "in case of", "when", "even though", ... . And I think if we can realize the main concept/function of "if" then we can produce those other meanings easily.
    Last edited by Khosro; 12-Feb-2011 at 18:21.

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    #9

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamako3 View Post
    On what grounds do you discriminate helpers? Their member status?
    I reckon we cannot influence others to do what we'd like them to. Thanking someone for their help is entirely up to them, the people being helped. But I've noticed that on this forum, if you find a friend, or even better a few of them, then you can exchange thanks with each other and boost your reputation while discussing topics. Mind you, your opinions must be alike or at least similar for that matter.
    Incidentally, do you really care that you haven't been thanked in a thread while some other guy has? I would have thought it's your knowledge that's important, and not the number of thanks you've got.

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    #10

    Re: if not altogether impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamako3 View Post
    if = although
    altogether = completely
    altogether impossible = completely impossible
    not altogether impossible = only marginally possible
    if not altogether impossible = although only marginally possible
    Here I want to follow your strategy because you are also quite right about if=although, but what about the others

    altogether = completely
    altogether impossible = completely impossible
    not altogether impossible = not completely impossible
    if not altogether impossible = although not completely impossible

    I came to a different result! (which is not much different!)

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