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    #1

    Question Cannot understand a sentence from the book "Language Instinct"

    It it the sentence marked in red:


    "And We may conclude that, to the animal which obeys it, every impulse and every step of every instinct shines with its own sufficient light, and seems at the moment the only eternally right and proper thing to do. What voluptuous thrill may not shake a fly, when she at last discovers the one particular leaf, or carrion, or bit of dung, that out of all the world can stimulate her ovipositor to its discharge?"

    I tried removing the "when... dung" part in the middle, still no clue what kind of sentence structure this is. I can sort of guess its meaning, but would really like to know more that guessing...

    thanks for help!
    Last edited by harriet_yang; 07-May-2014 at 04:23. Reason: typo

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Cannot understand a sentence from the book "Language Instinct"

    Forget about capitalizing "We". That is wrong.

    Here's my stripped-down interpretation: "All animals do what they do based on instinct. Who knows how much pleasure a fly enjoys when she does her instinctual thing?"

    Presumably a lot. And we too are animals.

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    #3

    Re: Cannot understand a sentence from the book "Language Instinct"

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Forget about capitalizing "We". That is wrong.

    Here's my stripped-down interpretation: "All animals do what they do based on instinct. Who knows how much pleasure a fly enjoys when she does her instinctual thing?"

    Presumably a lot. And we too are animals.
    Thanks for your help! What's the subject of "can stimulate her ovipositor to its discharge?" Is the subject the word "that" which denoting the "one particular leaf, or carrion, or bit of dung"?

    Thanks!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Cannot understand a sentence from the book "Language Instinct"

    Quote Originally Posted by harriet_yang View Post
    What's the subject of "can stimulate her ovipositor to its discharge?" Is the subject the word "that" which denoting the "one particular leaf, or carrion, or bit of dung"?
    Yes, all correct.

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    #5

    Re: Cannot understand a sentence from the book "Language Instinct"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, all correct.
    thank you very much!

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