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

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.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    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...'.
     

    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.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Then I'd like to know what "so" means in my example.
    Ah! They "mean" the same thing. But "so it came to pass" is a set phrase, as stated in the comments above.

    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.
    :thumbsup:Yes. The writing is informal but striving for an effect.
     

    MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    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
    His crisp, minimalistic dialogue also seems to be somewhat influenced by the style of wisecracking hardboiled crime authors, such as Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. The tension between the ancient and the modern, surreal and familiar was what drove most of his work.
     
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