a blind chemical arms race run

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SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Infiltrating an ant colony is no longer just a case of taking some heads and stolen scent glands. The super-colony has developed its defences: a blind chemical arms race run against the spiders’ ingenuity.
(Children of Time; Adrian Tchaikovsky)

Would you say the part in bold has no 'issues', as it were?

Thanks.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The only issue that I have with the use of that phrase is that the punctuation leads me to believe that the phrase is another way to define the word defences. That colon seems a little misleading to me.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    a blind chemical arms race run against the spiders’ ingenuity.
    is slightly issuey: the bolding makes it appear to end in a noun. (a blind chemical arms race run | against the spiders' ingenuity.)
    a blind chemical arms race run against the spiders’ ingenuity.
    isn't because it doesn't: it clearly ends in a kind of verb. (a blind chemical arms race | run against | the spiders' ingenuity.)

    P.S. I agree with Mr O about the colon (which I hadn't noticed): I'd replace it with the word in.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Run" is a participle, Suprun, that is being used to express this idea more briefly: a blind chemical arms race that is run/is being run against the spider's ingenuity.

    When I see the word defenses, I expect to read about more than one type of defense. That is why I don't like the colon. But this objection is really nothing more than nitpicking. A blind chemical arms race may arguably refer to more than one defense. I was searching for an issue, and that's the only one I found other than my issue with the spelling of "defense" in the original.
     
    Last edited:

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I said 'kind of verb' to avoid having to say 'a past participle used in an adjectivey kind of way';)

    It tells the story of a man murdered by his wife
    This is a story told since the 13th century
    He talks about an arms race run against the spiders


    (I'm feeling rather psittacine this morning, Mr O:D)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Yes, I just couldn't for some reason switch, as it were, to that reading in my head, but when I replaced the colon with in, as ewie suggested, the penny finally dropped :)
    That doesn't surprise me. It is easy to mistake the function of run because the same word functions in several different ways.

    (not a parroty parody of ewie's #6): I agree with owlman5's #5, too; it's an ellipsis (leaving out words).
    Thank you, ATF, for saving me the trouble of looking it up. I thought I recognized that word, but I wasn't sure. I think I may have seen it somewhere before in a blizzard of words. Ewie's vision and memory are obviously better than mine.:D
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Yes, my friend. I am occasionally stumped by the appearance of a word with several functions when it appears unexpectedly in some little chunk of text that I am reading. Most of the time, I'm able to resolve my doubts about the word's function and meaning without having to refer to any dreary texts on grammar, etc.:D

    Given that you already have two other languages in your head to keep track of, I'm not at all surprised that you sometimes have the same problem when you encounter an unexpected use of some English word in a book that you are reading.
     
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