I was thumbing through a battered English language textbook a friend had used in High School in Japan in the 1980s and found the following sentence used as an example of how to use 'as well as':
When riding (in italics) in a motorcar, I, as well as the driver, am liable to find zebras a nuisance.
My initial reaction was to wonder why on earth the writer had though this sentence was a good example, given the dearth of zebra-related nuisance in Japan and most English-speaking countries, though where I am living at the moment, traffic gets held up every day as an elephant walks to work in the local park. For years, we have been taught to snigger at 'my postillion was struck by lightning' type sentences beloved of old grammarians. However, as the day wore on and I couldn't get the sentence out of my mind, I started wondering whether there is more to these bizarre sentences than we have credited them with. It does stick in the memory and it does illustrate a point. It is scarcely a natural sentence, nor one likely to be needed, but I rather like it. Maybe a few should be resurrected.
Mind you, the writer also felt the need to practise 'lest' at some length, which seems a little cruel, especially with a revision exercise to ram it home.
Categories: Asian Blog