a line of attack(s)

  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Context, please.

    Moreover, I know you're trying to be familiar with "guys," but that's mildly insulting to the female members of this forum.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Context, please.

    Moreover, I know you're trying to be familiar with "guys," but that's mildly insulting to the female members of this forum.
    :eek::eek:Sorry, I've never perceived that. I am so sorry for my ignorance.


    The image of Europe celebrating him as a global peacemaker recalled the period during the presidential race when Senator John McCain’s campaign portrayed Mr. Obama as a vapid celebrity playing to huge European crowds, a line of attack that left the normally sure-footed Obama team flummoxed.
    :)Here is the context.
     

    Er.S.M.M.Hanifa

    Banned
    Tamil
    Dear readers,

    1. Could you please what difference is between them?
    Is the above sentence grammatically correct?
    Please guide me to understand.
    Thanks,
    Er.S.M.M.Hanifa
     

    deadbox

    Member
    Chinese
    I was confused about the same question.
    for example,a sentence like this below:
    The image of Europe celebrating him as a global peacemaker recalled the period during the presidential race when Senator John McCain’s campaign portrayed Mr. Obama as a vapid celebrity playing to huge European crowds, a line of attack that left the normally sure-footed Obama team flummoxed.
    The red part,can I write it like this:a line of attacks? how to understand it?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    No, you should not rewrite it as "a line of attacks". Attack should be singular.

    "A line of attack" here means the way the people working on McCain's chose to attack Obama, the kind of thing they were saying to make Obama look bad.

    They said things to make people in the US think that Obama was someone who sounded good and was popular but didn't have any good ideas, or the ability to think well. (That is approximately what "vapid celebrity" means.) They also wanted the US voters to think that Obama was popular in Europe, but not really concerned with the US. Together, these ideas formed a "line of attack", a way to make it seem that Obama was not qualified to be president. That is why we use the singular form, attack.

    I hope this answers your question. If not, please ask again.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    :)Thank you, Cagey, but I have two more questions.

    1 Can I use "the way of attack" to subsititute for "a line of attack"?

    2 Could you give me some examples which respectively include "a line of attack" and "a line of attacks" to help me understand more?


    Thanks.

    LQZ
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You might substitute "a way of attacking" for "a line of attack", but "a way of attack" is ungrammatical.

    To find more examples of the use of "a line of attack", see this: Finding Examples in Context.

    You can also look for "a line of attacks". However, I don't think we use this in the figurative way in which we use "line of attack". You may find "line of attacks" in contexts where it refers to literal military attacks.
     
    Last edited:

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    A line of attack is the direction or manner in which an 'attacker' approaches an obstacle or problem. The phrase is used in a wide variety of situations. Here are several examples. The phrase is used in debate, to outline the arguments that a debater wishes to make. It is used in rock- and mountain-climbing to describe the path up a rock or mountain face that a climber chooses, in order to deal with the difficult sections of a climb. In military discussions, it is used to describe the way in which an offensive force approaches a series of obstacles, enemy fortifications, etc.

    A line of attacks is quite different. This phrase is not used figuratively, and it would mean 'a series of attacks along a geographical line'.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you, you two, I think I finally got it. It is not easy for me to distinguish some similar phrases. Thanks again.
     
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