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    #1

    Fear for reason

    I watched the 1950's movie, The day the Earth stood still, the line that confused me the most was when the alien was asked if he felt fear. His reply was...

    "I feel fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason."

    The obvious intent of this line was meant to substitute reason with fear.
    Where saying...
    "I feel fearful when I see people substituting fear with reason" would mean the exact opposite of the movie quotes intended meaning.

    I can not construct the sentences true meaning in my mind.
    The way its worded is a uncommon method when constructing sentences.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Fear for reason

    It is quite usual to use that construction. 'Textured soya protien is a substitute for meat.' For example.

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    #3

    Re: Fear for reason

    Quote Originally Posted by TAReber View Post
    "I feel fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason."
    People behave irrationally when they substitute fear for reason. Irrational behavior is something to be afraid of.



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    #4

    Re: Fear for reason

    thanks, I guess i just started confusing my self when both the subjects were placed after the verb substituting. In this case fear is substituting for reason.

    Thats an interesting analysis Ronbee.

    One last question if anyone is interested.
    Whats the difference of use between substituting fear for reason and substituting reason with fear. Is one more appropriate then the other under different conditions or are they 100% equal to each other.

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    #5

    Re: Fear for reason

    I don't know what it means to substitute reason with fear. Please explain.




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    #6

    Re: Fear for reason

    If substitute means to replace or take place of, Then would it not be the same as saying replacing reason with fear. I.E. He replaced the emergency cut-off switch with a drink holder. I guess it would have to be He substituted his reasoning with fear.

    If I said 'fear is substituting for reason', Would I be saying that fear and reason, in this case, is its own thing apart from a person?

    'Textured soya protein is a substitute for meat.
    Meat can be substituted with soya protein.

    Bill is substituting soya protein for meat.
    Bill is substituting meat with soya protein.

    Wouldn't that make for and with antonyms.

    jumped with joy
    jumped for joy
    arrived with bad news
    arrived for bad news
    did you go with her
    did you go for her
    fought with him
    fought for him

    I think i'm getting more confused...

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    #7

    Re: Fear for reason

    Quote Originally Posted by TAReber View Post
    person?

    'Textured soya protein is a substitute for meat.
    Meat can be replaced with soya protein.


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    #8

    Re: Fear for reason

    can substitute and replace not be used in the same context?

    I was thinking about it and found out what doesn't make sense to me.
    If I break it down into sections you will see. Why I was getting confused.

    (I am substituting fear (for reason))

    'I am substituting fear...'
    This section starts off with fear being the thing that serves in place of.
    'for reason.'
    In this sense fear is being replaced with reason
    kind of like (jump for joy) vs (substitute jumping for joy). In the second sentence the jump didn't exist.

    (I am substituting(fear for reason))
    I am substituting means something will be replaced
    In this case the thing that will replaced is (fear for reason)
    But just 'Fear for Reason' means they are using fear as a form of reasoning.

    If its meant in this way then the sentence is then incomplete because (fear for reason) should have been used to replace (reason for fear).

    The guy saying it was cut off in at the end of the sentence, it might be possible that he was cut off before the end and it was supposed to be

    'I feel fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason with reason for fear'

    Then this popped in my mind, I dont know how alike it is but
    'I feel fearful when I see people substitute reason for fear for fear for reason'

    that seemed like a fun sentence

  5. #9

    Re: Fear for reason

    ...substituting fear for reason
    substituting fear in place of reason

    I think that is what the script writer was getting at when they wrote out that line. I derived that from a dictionary definition of 'for'

    For (preposition)
    in place of; instead of:
    e.g. substitute for butter

    I am not sure how to explain this properly, as I am not an English teacher, but my theory is that this has to do with the concept of 'do'.

    margarine is a substitute for butter (can do)
    substituting margarine for butter (doing)

    From the movie quote, the alien is expressing that he is afraid of people who are doing the substitution of fear for reason.

    Although there are other ways to say this, the complicated sytlistics of it may have been more suitable for the personality of an otherworldly figure.

    Thats just my theory anyways :).

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    #10

    Re: Fear for reason

    Quote Originally Posted by SeseinAsia View Post
    substituting fear in place of reason

    I think that is what the script writer was getting at when they wrote out that line. I derived that from a dictionary definition of 'for'

    For (preposition)
    in place of; instead of:
    e.g. substitute for butter

    I am not sure how to explain this properly, as I am not an English teacher, but my theory is that this has to do with the concept of 'do'.

    margarine is a substitute for butter (can do)
    substituting margarine for butter (doing)

    From the movie quote, the alien is expressing that he is afraid of people who are doing the substitution of fear for reason.

    Although there are other ways to say this, the complicated sytlistics of it may have been more suitable for the personality of an otherworldly figure.

    Thats just my theory anyways :).
    There is absolutely nothing complicated about this sentence, it is good English.
    "I feel fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason."
    I am suprised to see native English speakers having a problem with it.

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