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alibey71

Senior Member
Türkçe
"Countless cartoon worlds, dystopian movies and sci-fi visions have centred on personalised vehicles that can, at a moment’s notice, leap into the skies. Surely, many protagonists have asked, the limits of gravity, of the street, of worsening congestion, and of the city multitude trapped together on the urban surface require the ultimate form of transcendence: a personal flying vehicle that can sustain door-to-door mobility within a completely three-dimensional urban environment?"

I couldn't figure the second sentence out, what is the question here?

The source: Stephen Graham's Vertical
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Let us punctuate the sentence a little differently:

    "Surely," many protagonists have asked, "the limits
    [(i) of gravity,
    (ii) of the street,
    (iii) of worsening congestion, and
    (iv) of the city multitude trapped together on the urban surface]
    all require the ultimate form of transcendence: a personal flying vehicle that can sustain door-to-door mobility within a completely three-dimensional urban environment?"
     

    alibey71

    Senior Member
    Türkçe
    Let us punctuate the sentence a little differently:

    "Surely," many protagonists have asked, "the limits
    [(i) of gravity,
    (ii) of the street,
    (iii) of worsening congestion, and
    (iv) of the city multitude trapped together on the urban surface]
    all require the ultimate form of transcendence: a personal flying vehicle that can sustain door-to-door mobility within a completely three-dimensional urban environment?"
    Thanks a lot, PaulQ, I couldn't really understand anything of that sentence, I see it now.
     

    alibey71

    Senior Member
    Türkçe
    I wouldn't put a question mark at the end of that sentence.
    I think so, too, RM1(SS). I had to translate this sentence like this: many protagonists have asked this question: do the limits of gravity ... require the ultimate form of transcendence...?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I wouldn't put a question mark at the end of that sentence.
    I think it depends on what "surely" means. I took it to be a questioning precursor to astonishment/disbelief: "Surely, he has locked the stable door? - Even he would not forget to do that!"

    It can be simplified to
    "Surely," many protagonists have asked, "the limits require transcendence?" (I can almost here the "don't they?" after it.)
    or, perhaps less ambiguously
    Many protagonists have asked "Surely, the limits require transcendence?"

    Added to this, there is someone asking something.

    The alternative is
    It is beyond doubt that many protagonists have asked "The limits require transcendence?" and that would be strange.
     

    alibey71

    Senior Member
    Türkçe
    I think so, too, RM1(SS).
    I think it depends on what "surely" means. I took it to be a questioning precursor to astonishment/disbelief: "Surely, he has locked the stable door? - Even he would not forget to do that!"

    It can be simplified to
    "Surely," many protagonists have asked, "the limits require transcendence?" (I can almost here the "don't they?" after it.)
    or, perhaps less ambiguously
    Many protagonists have asked "Surely, the limits require transcendence?"

    Added to this, there is someone asking something.

    The alternative is
    It is beyond doubt that many protagonists have asked "The limits require transcendence?" and that would be strange.
    This is an excellent explanation, PaulQ, thank you.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think punctuation saves it. There is some mistake in word choice or organization. For instance, why is "protagonist" there?

    Here is my understanding of it as a straightforward sentence from the author's perspective.

    Surely many protagonists have thought that the limits of gravity, of the street, of worsening congestion, and of the city multitude trapped together on the urban surface require the ultimate form of transcendence: a personal flying vehicle that can sustain door-to-door mobility within a completely three-dimensional urban environment"

    As a rhetorical question.

    "Surely," many protagonists have thought, "given the limits of gravity, of the street, of worsening congestion, and of the city multitude trapped together on the urban surface there is a requirement for the ultimate form of transcendence: a personal flying vehicle that can sustain door-to-door mobility within a completely three-dimensional urban environment"
     
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