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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    And so what they did was, they wanted to, sort of, express - meaning and style

    Hello.

    INSERT

    Elizabeth Semmelhack, curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada
    This new industrial age actually ushered in a new class, the emerging middle class, that was able to, now, have leisure time, because of their new economic success. And so what they did was, they wanted to, sort of, express the fact that they had leisure time by playing. But they also wanted to signify that they were doing these things by their sartorial choices. And so the sneaker, in part, was invented to meet the needs of this new class, so that they could very conspicuously show that they were playing.

    To my thinking, "And so what they did was, they wanted to, sort of, express" means "That is why they really wanted, to a certain degree, to express".

    As for the style, shouldn't it be written "And so what they did was want to, sort of, express" according to the rules of "What" cleft sentences or maybe "And so what they did was want to, sort of, express" is an unfinished thought?

    What is your opinion.

    Thank you.

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: And so what they did was, they wanted to, sort of, express - meaning and style

    The text is transcribed spoken English, where rules of the written language are often violated. The author inserted a couple of commas which I'd omit, though they probably correspond to pauses.

    I'd write the sentence And so what they did was, they wanted to sort of express the fact that they had leisure time by playing.
    I am not a teacher.

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