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Thread: rather

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default rather

    Dear teachers,

    In my dictionary it reads:
    rather: 1. more accurately; more exactly
    2. used to express an opposite opinion
    Then please read the sentence and explain which meaning it bears because I have difficulty deciding the meaning.

    All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control. I am saying, rather, that control must be geared to realities.

    Is it the first meaning?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: rather

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    In my dictionary it reads:
    rather: 1. more accurately; more exactly
    2. used to express an opposite opinion
    Then please read the sentence and explain which meaning it bears because I have difficulty deciding the meaning.

    All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control. I am saying, rather, that control must be geared to realities.

    Is it the first meaning?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    More (rather) the 2nd. The argument is for economy, and matching expenditure to reality. This is in contrast to the position (presumably stated before) that there is a huge infestation problem and that no expense must be spared in eradicating all insects. It also contrasts, more obviously, with the position that 'there is no insect problem'.

    b

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    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: rather

    Dear BobK,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    More (rather) the 2nd. The argument is for economy, and matching expenditure to reality. This is in contrast to the position (presumably stated before) that there is a huge infestation problem and that no expense must be spared in eradicating all insects. It also contrasts, more obviously, with the position that 'there is no insect problem'.

    b

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    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: rather

    Dear BobK,

    I think I should type the paragraph before the part I cited in my post to enable you to know what has been talked about and to make sure that your assumption is correct.

    How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death evern to their own kind? Yet this is precisely what we have done.
    All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control. I am saying, rather, that control must be geared to realities, and that the methods employed must be such that they do not destroy us along with the insects.

    Could you please kindly tell me the meaning of 'rather'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    More (rather) the 2nd. The argument is for economy, and matching expenditure to reality. This is in contrast to the position (presumably stated before) that there is a huge infestation problem and that no expense must be spared in eradicating all insects. It also contrasts, more obviously, with the position that 'there is no insect problem'.

    b

  5. #5
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    Default Re: rather

    The meaning of rather in this case, is the second one from your dictionary.
    2. used to express an opposite opinion

    Usually it would be used to compare one sentence, or clause, with another sentence. e.g.

    I don't like fish; I would rather eat beef. - Fish v. beef.
    He would drive rather than walk. - Drive v. walk.
    John played games rather than do his homework. - Games v. homework.

    When we look at your passage, the sentences that are being compared and not adjacent. We are not comparing "All this is not to say..." versus "that control must be..."; Instead we are comparing "How could intelligent beings seek to control a few..." against "that control must be..." The sentences for comparason are not adjacent, they are separated or remote from each other; therefor the compariston is confusing.

    The problem with understanding the line is more likely the bad grammar of the passage than your skills. There is another grammar error in the sentence; "All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control." This contains double negatives. So the sentence has an ambiguous meaning.

  6. #6
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: rather


    Dear Rincewind,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The meaning of rather in this case, is the second one from your dictionary.
    2. used to express an opposite opinion

    Usually it would be used to compare one sentence, or clause, with another sentence. e.g.

    I don't like fish; I would rather eat beef. - Fish v. beef.
    He would drive rather than walk. - Drive v. walk.
    John played games rather than do his homework. - Games v. homework.

    When we look at your passage, the sentences that are being compared and not adjacent. We are not comparing "All this is not to say..." versus "that control must be..."; Instead we are comparing "How could intelligent beings seek to control a few..." against "that control must be..." The sentences for comparason are not adjacent, they are separated or remote from each other; therefor the compariston is confusing.

    The problem with understanding the line is more likely the bad grammar of the passage than your skills. There is another grammar error in the sentence; "All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control." This contains double negatives. So the sentence has an ambiguous meaning.

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: rather

    Dear Rincewind,

    Can I understand the sentence "All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control" the following way:

    All this is to say there is an insect problem and the need of control.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The meaning of rather in this case, is the second one from your dictionary.
    2. used to express an opposite opinion

    Usually it would be used to compare one sentence, or clause, with another sentence. e.g.

    I don't like fish; I would rather eat beef. - Fish v. beef.
    He would drive rather than walk. - Drive v. walk.
    John played games rather than do his homework. - Games v. homework.

    When we look at your passage, the sentences that are being compared and not adjacent. We are not comparing "All this is not to say..." versus "that control must be..."; Instead we are comparing "How could intelligent beings seek to control a few..." against "that control must be..." The sentences for comparason are not adjacent, they are separated or remote from each other; therefor the compariston is confusing.

    The problem with understanding the line is more likely the bad grammar of the passage than your skills. There is another grammar error in the sentence; "All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control." This contains double negatives. So the sentence has an ambiguous meaning.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: rather

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear Rincewind,

    Can I understand the sentence "All this is not to say there is no insect problem and no need of control" the following way:

    All this is to say there is an insect problem and the need of control.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    I was afraid that is what you would conclude from the posting about double negatives. There are three negatives in the original sentence, but there is not a double negative in the usual sense of that phrase. The noun clause (at the end) contains two negatives, connected by a conjunction. That is not a double negative. That clause reads:

    There is no insect problem and no need for control.

    That is perfectly correct and not ambiguous in any way.

    The main clause is "That is not to say". That clause is transitional. It connects what was said in the previous sentence to what was not intended to be said: the noun clause. Therefore, the first negative does not cancel the other two. When you flip it to the positive sentence you wrote, the meaning is different.

  9. #9
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: rather


    Dear Mike,
    I did think that the noun clause contains two negatives. I must be influenced by my native tongue because there is such structure in Chinese so I interpreted it the way I interpret Chinese.

    I am afraid I only understand part of your explanation. That is 'There is no insect problem and no need for control ( I thought this is double negative). That is perfectly correct and not ambiguous in any way.'

    The part you explained ' There are three negatives in the original sentence, but there is not a double negative in the usual sense of that phrase. The noun clause (at the end) contains two negatives, connected by a conjunction. That is not a double negative' is difficult for me to understand.
    If the author wrote the following way is it correct?

    All this is not to say there is no insect problem ( that means there is insect problem) and all this is not to say there is no need of control ( that means there is a need of control).

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I was afraid that is what you would conclude from the posting about double negatives. There are three negatives in the original sentence, but there is not a double negative in the usual sense of that phrase. The noun clause (at the end) contains two negatives, connected by a conjunction. That is not a double negative. That clause reads:

    There is no insect problem and no need for control.

    That is perfectly correct and not ambiguous in any way.

    The main clause is "That is not to say". That clause is transitional. It connects what was said in the previous sentence to what was not intended to be said: the noun clause. Therefore, the first negative does not cancel the other two. When you flip it to the positive sentence you wrote, the meaning is different.

  10. #10
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: rather

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post

    Dear Mike,
    I did think that the noun clause contains two negatives. I must be influenced by my native tongue because there is such structure in Chinese so I interpreted it the way I interpret Chinese.

    I am afraid I only understand part of your explanation. That is 'There is no insect problem and no need for control ( I thought this is double negative). That is perfectly correct and not ambiguous in any way.'

    The part you explained ' There are three negatives in the original sentence, but there is not a double negative in the usual sense of that phrase. The noun clause (at the end) contains two negatives, connected by a conjunction. That is not a double negative' is difficult for me to understand.
    If the author wrote the following way is it correct?

    All this is not to say there is no insect problem ( that means there is insect problem) and all this is not to say there is no need of control ( that means there is a need of control).

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Sorry that it confusing. A problematic double negative occurs within one clause:

    I didn't see nothing.

    It is not a double negative when two negative phrases are connected.

    I didn't see anything and I didn't hear anything.

    There is nothing at all wrong with that.

    It isn't a double negative when the negatives are in different clauses.

    [I didn't say] [he wasn't coming].

    There is nothing wrong with that.

    We can't turn that last one into "I said he was coming". That is not the intended meaning.

    Putting those two concepts together, it is correct to say:

    [That is not to say] [there is no problem] and [no need for a solution].

    Is that any clearer?

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