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  1. 羡鱼-Xianyu's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 83
    #1

    Can 'what was' be ommitted?

    Aunt Harriet presided over an invisible army of servants that continuously scrubbed, cleaned, and polished. She always referred to them as 'the shifting population', for they came and went with such frequency that I never even got a chance to learn their names. Though my aunt pursued what was, in those days, an enlightened policy, in that she never allowed her domestic staff to work more than eight hours a day, she was extremely difficult to please.

    Hi teachers,

    Can 'what was' be ommitted? I mean that can I reword the part in blue like this: Though my aunt pursued an enlightened policy in those days, in that she never allowed her domestic staff to work more than eight hours a day, she was extremely difficult to please.

    In my humble opinion, 'what was' seems to be unneccessary in here. Without it, this sentence can still keep the same meaning. Besides the rephrased one is much more concise.

    Any opinions are highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: Can 'what was' be ommitted?

    The meaning changes considerably- the original suggests that this is no longer regarded as an enlightened policy, while the second suggests that she has changed her policy, not that attitudes towards it have changed, and suggests that the writer approves of this policy.

  2. 羡鱼-Xianyu's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 83
    #3

    Re: Can 'what was' be ommitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The meaning changes considerably- the original suggests that this is no longer regarded as an enlightened policy, while the second suggests that she has changed her policy, not that attitudes towards it have changed, and suggests that the writer approves of this policy.
    Hello Tdol,
    Thank you for your reply!

    Could I grasp what you said like this?
    with 'what was', this policy was referred to as quite enlightened one in the old days, but in nowadays it is not neccessarily enlightened. The rephrased one implies that the heroine always pursued a policy as long as the policy was enlightened, and this was just her attitudes. That is to say, if she were alive now, she would pursue 'what is', in these days, enlightened policy.

    I'm looking forward to your further reply.

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