(A vulgar man that sometimes- but he's deep.)

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
Hello, :)

I have some problems with understanding the sentence from the title despite understanding the words. Here are the sentences that follow and precede it:

Dr. Moneypenny made the title for us, and says he chose it because it sounded big like an empty rum-puncheon. (A vulgar man that sometimes- but he's deep.) We all sign the initials of the society after our names, in the fashion of the R. S. A., Royal Society of Arts- the S. D. U. K., Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, &c, &c.
If you need more context you will find it here.

It comes from How to Write a Blackwood Article by Alan Poe.
Anyone knows what it implies?


Input appreciated.


Tom
 
  • JeffJo

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, English
    It means that sometimes Dr. Moneypenny can be crude - but he's actually profound.

    The idea of him being crude comes from the mention of the empty rumpuncheon (rum barrel) as though he personally drank a barrel of rum.

    His profundity is that he composed the society's amazing title.

    Edgar Alan Poe is never called "Alan Poe." It's the custom that either all three names are used for him, or only his last name.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Thank you very much, JeffJo. :)

    The that is mind boggling to me and I'm not clear about its meaning/function here. Is the first part of this sentence a sort of unfinished?
    A vulgar man that sometimes he is...

    If not how would you explain it please?


    Tom
     

    JeffJo

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, English
    The remark is an idiomatic sentence fragment, not grammatical. The phrasing is inverted. A comma after "that" is understood, but not printed.

    You're very close to having it.

    "A vulgar man that sometimes" - 'A vulgar man, he is that, sometimes.'
     

    Randisi.

    Senior Member
    American English; USA
    I think it's just a bit of repetition for emphasis.

    A vulgar man that [Dr. Moneypenny] sometimes - but he's deep.

    In other words: That Dr. Moneypenny can be a vulgar man sometimes - but he's deep.

    Such a usage of "that" is more at home these days in speech, particularly British speech.
     
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