8 thoughts on “Brief review over at Play This Thing!

  1. Don’t mean to be a bother, but I think you forgot “it is” or “it’s” in the first sentence of the review.

      • Whoops! I don’t understand how that construction works, but I’ll assume you’re right. I’d be interested to know how the grammar is functioning without the pronoun. (I’m not using sarcasm; I genuinely study linguistics and love unusual exceptions.)

      • Well, in a sense you’re right — there’s an omitted “it is” implicit there, but the pronoun and verb may be dropped because they’re conveying no new information; we just assume, by parallelism, that the noun of the “because” clause is the same as the noun of the main clause.

        Latin omits words in this situation too, a lot more often, because good Latin style tends to avoid any form of redundancy unless for special emphasis. (Cicero writes very long sentences, but what really makes them challenging for students is what he leaves out, not what he puts in.) So my unsubstantiated linguistic speculation is that English prose borrowed that convention just as it borrowed some others. I could be totally wrong about that.

        Anyway, it’s a slightly uncommon, intentionally terse expression, which seemed to suit the thing I was writing about, to the extent that I thought about it. Most of these stylistic decisions happen at a subconscious level, but if I try to go back and unpack my thinking, I’m pretty sure that’s why.

      • I believe it’s ungrammatical in Standard English. “because” needs to take a clause as an argument, not a noun phrase. While you can often leave out subjects in English you can never leave out the inflection element (something at least needs to be inflected for tense). Doesn’t matter that it’s not providing new information, that’s just how English works.

        That said, sometimes ungrammatical constructions can be appropriate, and I think this one worked.

    • No — “but” works like “and” there; you can use it to glue together two words or two clauses. “Because” does need two clauses, but we’re then taking most of the second clause to be implicit.

      (And clearly using it was a misguided stylistic decision on my part if it’s caused this much confusion among the people reading. But that’s a separate point.)

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