Abstract Noun+Be+Countable Noun

ENGLISHIAN

Member
Korean
Hi. Every time I thank you for the help.

(1) “A new emotional literacy of young people is the man of the moment — sporting hero, stylish gentleman, and family man all rolled into one.” (paraphrased from "2012 330 Questions" : EBS)

My question is whether (1) is natural or not.

I know that just "Emotional literacy is the man of the moment" is wrong.
It should be like "Emotional literacy is for the man of the moment."
In a discussing site for nonnatives, some people around me said that (1) doesn't make sense.
But in the above case, I think it can be possible because of "a new".
This kind of thinking is derived from the following experience.
I saw a similar sentence : (2) A new preference of young people is this new cell phone."
At first, I thought (2) should be "A new preference of young people is for this new cell phone."
But a native told me that (2) needn't be changed and that (2) is just natural.
Surprised, I checked a dictionary. It said that the word preference can mean "something that is liked".
In the same way, (1) can be natural, but I'm not a native and it's so hard to find any reference.
I will thank you for any comment. Help me, please!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, I think it is natural - as far as grammar goes, anyway. There's no grammatical reason why you can't change kinds (abstract to concrete, non-count to count) when you're introducing a striking metaphor. It might sound odd, but that's because it's an odd idea. Equally odd would be saying 'This new mobile phone is our blue-eyed boy', where the familiar metaphor 'blue-eyed boy' is of the same noun subclass as the mobile phone.
     

    ENGLISHIAN

    Member
    Korean
    Yes, I think it is natural - as far as grammar goes, anyway. There's no grammatical reason why you can't change kinds (abstract to concrete, non-count to count) when you're introducing a striking metaphor. It might sound odd, but that's because it's an odd idea. Equally odd would be saying 'This new mobile phone is our blue-eyed boy', where the familiar metaphor 'blue-eyed boy' is of the same noun subclass as the mobile phone.
    Thank you, entangledbank.
    You mean (1) is natural because this is a metaphor. Hmmm...
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    For what it's worth this doesn't sound natural to me at all.

    I'd never write literacy is a man... to mean what is becoming accepted is a man...

    The problem springs, to my mind, from what one is or is not prepared to understand by literacy.
     

    ENGLISHIAN

    Member
    Korean
    For what it's worth this doesn't sound natural to me at all.

    I'd never write literacy is a man... to mean what is becoming accepted is a man...

    The problem springs, to my mind, from what one is or is not prepared to understand by literacy.
    I always appreciate your help before and now for my strange questions, Thomas Tompion.
    You means (1) is not natural at all. I agree "literacy is a man" is unnatural. But, I thought "a new literacy" has a different meaning like preference - a preference. Hmmm... This depends on the reader's mind, right? Frankly, I had not much trouble understanding the following. Maybe I'm prepared.

    “I was struck by the younger people’s ideas,” Professor Jane Pollins said. “They prefer thoughtful men who have actual competence to peacefully resolve conflicts — very different from the kind of tough men who were once seen as the ideal,” she said. She sees younger generations as evolving differently from their fathers. According to her, “Men may have found a new emotional literacy that contradicts the traditional masculine stereotype but nevertheless is the man of the moment — sporting hero, stylish gentleman, and family man all rolled into one.” What interests Professor Pollins is that this can create a supportive emotional relationship. ~ " (from "2012 330 Questions" #81 : EBS)

    Thanks again, entangledbank and Thomas Tompion. Metaphor and Reader's attitude have made me think more widely.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I find both
    "Emotional literacy is the man of the moment"
    and
    "Emotional literacy is for the man of the moment."

    to be perfectly acceptable

    NB they mean two quite different things.
     

    ENGLISHIAN

    Member
    Korean
    I find both
    "Emotional literacy is the man of the moment"
    and
    "Emotional literacy is for the man of the moment."

    to be perfectly acceptable

    NB they mean two quite different things.
    Oh. Thank you, PaulQ. Can you tell me more specifically about the difference, please? Cause I have no information from the Web and my books.
     
    Last edited:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I should have read this more carefully: the man of the moment means the fashionable man, the man who everyone is interested in.

    I still can't accept the idea of emotional literacy being any sort of man, and I've not encountered the expression, man of the moment, as meaning anything like in fashion, which is how we are being invited to read it here.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I should make clear that I find the specific sentence awkward, and would attack it with red pen if it came to me in my job. But the general principle doesn't worry me: the Samsung Galaxy is the new kid on the block; reiki is the new kid on the block; quantitative easing is the new kid on the block. The oddity is not in the grammatical class of what's being metaphorically described, but only in whether it's a metaphor that makes sense as a metaphor.
     

    ENGLISHIAN

    Member
    Korean
    I should have read this more carefully: the man of the moment means the fashionable man, the man who everyone is interested in.

    I still can't accept the idea of emotional literacy being any sort of man, and I've not encountered the expression, man of the moment, as meaning anything like in fashion, which is how we are being invited to read it here.
    Oh, since I saw "of the moment" meaning "in fashion" in some dictionaries, I thought it is very often used. How can a non-native like me know its frequency of use? Just googling.... Thanks to you, I got some new view-point of using new expressions like this.

    Anyway, if you still can't accept this, can I have some suggestions from you? These are mine.
    (a) A new emotional literacy of young people is for the man of the moment - sporting hero...
    (b) A new emotional literacy of young people is the favor of the man of the moment - sporting hero...
    (c) A new emotional literacy of young people is the image of the man of the moment - sporting hero...
    Sorry to bother you, but I can't help bothering you.
     

    ENGLISHIAN

    Member
    Korean
    I should make clear that I find the specific sentence awkward, and would attack it with red pen if it came to me in my job. But the general principle doesn't worry me: the Samsung Galaxy is the new kid on the block; reiki is the new kid on the block; quantitative easing is the new kid on the block. The oddity is not in the grammatical class of what's being metaphorically described, but only in whether it's a metaphor that makes sense as a metaphor.
    Yes, entangledbank. I know you mean it's gramatically correct. I also agree this is not on gramatical level. It's about the limit of a metaphor. I think the metaphor above is understandable, but does the metaphor make sense to you? I really want to know how the sentence (1) is accepted as a metaphor by natives.
     
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