And <so> it came to pass <that>...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by park sang joon, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. park sang joon Senior Member

    Korean
    The protagonist, one of Amber's princes, is now at a hospital for the incision by a sword.

    Abide. Think. Regenerate.
    And so it came to pass that a little after dinertime, just as the sky was darkening again, I was beaten to the punch.
    ["Sign of the Unicorn" of The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny]
    I'd like to know if I can rephrase the underline clause as the following:
    "And it came to pass in such a way that I was beaten to the punch."
    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. RedwoodGrove

    RedwoodGrove Senior Member

    Northern California
    English, USA
    The word "such" would have to refer to something that came before in the text, I think.
     
  3. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    And so it came to pass is a set phrase, found repeatedly in the King James translation of the Bible. (Kings 15:12, Acts 27:44, 1 Thessalonians 3:4 etc. etc.)

    I don't think there's much to be gained from paraphrasing it except to mean 'And here's what happened next...'.
     
  4. park sang joon Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you, RedwoodGrove and Mr. Bradford.:)
    Then I'd like to know what "so" means in my example.
     
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    So does mean what you have suggested but you should not change the expression. "In such a way"is what it means but And so it came to pass is archaic and a set phrase. (The writing is poor "beaten to the punch" is an expression that started in 1920, and "and so it came to pass" died out well before then.
     
  6. park sang joon Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you, PaulQ, for another so very kind answer from you. :)
     
  7. RedwoodGrove

    RedwoodGrove Senior Member

    Northern California
    English, USA
    Ah! They "mean" the same thing. But "so it came to pass" is a set phrase, as stated in the comments above.

    :thumbsup:Yes. The writing is informal but striving for an effect.
     
  8. MirandaEscobedo Senior Member

    London UK
    British English
    Without disagreeing with the above, "so" is similar to "thus", which would depend on what is said in sentences come before "And so it came to pass". In any case I totally agree with the other posts that counsel against paraphrasing. Indeed, the whole nice stylistic contrast between the grand archaic phrase and the modern street-life "beaten to the punch" would then be lost.
     
  9. RedwoodGrove

    RedwoodGrove Senior Member

    Northern California
    English, USA
    I'm going to memorize that.:)
     
  10. MirandaEscobedo Senior Member

    London UK
    British English
    Was I being pretentious?
     
  11. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Nope. The wiki on Zelazny has a nice summary - and it explains why park has asked so many questions - of the "mixed" style he used
     
  12. MirandaEscobedo Senior Member

    London UK
    British English
    That explains a lot. Thank you.
     

Share This Page

Loading...