a Lincoln grown old

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
1. A personal name is used with the indefinite article to indicate a) a member of a family, b) one resembling somebody:
a) "The boy is a Benbow!" he replied hotly.
b) His face always reminded Michael of a Lincoln grown old.
(Learning to use articles, L. Barmina)

In 'b)', it is because of "grown old" that the indefinite article is used. It means -- Lincoln of a particular age.
It couldn't have been:
"His face always reminded Michael of a Lincoln.":cross:
But it could:
He has such a face that if you saw him you'd say he is a Lincoln:tick:
Am I right?
Thank you.
 
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  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, that was my thought, too.:)
    But the question is still valid:
    In 'b)', it is because of "grown old" that the indefinite article is used. It means -- Abraham Lincoln of a particular age.
    It couldn't have been:
    "His face always reminded Michael of an Abraham Lincoln":cross:
    But it could:
    He has such a face that if you saw him you'd say he is an Abraham Lincoln:tick:
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    He has such a face that if you saw him you'd say he is an Abraham Lincoln. :cross:

    This is one of those sentences that is so far from being idiomatic that it is impossible to correct. The nearest you are going to get is: "He has the type of face that if you saw him you'd say he is a stand-in for Abraham Lincoln." Or "He has the type of face that if you saw him you'd say "Hello Mr Lincoln.."", which is not what you want as an example.

    Try:

    A: "I'm nervous about giving the speech."
    B: Rubbish! Get out there and give it to them! They know you stutter, they know you fumble words, but they also know you are not an Abraham Lincoln." -> i.e. do not have the attributes of Abraham Lincoln.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Abraham Lincoln was killed at the age of 56. That is not old, even by the standards of 1865. To me, and I suspect to most other Americans, this means his face suggests to the writer how Lincoln might have looked had he grown old - though he did not.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you for the answers.
    I see now that my rephrarses of the original quote are far different.
    So, the original:
    His face always reminded Michael of a young Lincoln grown old.
    Do these express the same idea?:
    His face always reminded Michael of a Lincoln in his thirties.
    His face always reminded Michael of a young Lincoln.
     
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