begun as a simple antidote(...)

film4reel

Senior Member
Spanish
If, begun as a simple antidote by which, amid sorrows and anxieties both personal and collective, I seek a little peace of mind, it should turn into a real book, intended to be read.

Is it a parenthetical phrase? What is it? Can you explain?
 
  • gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    No it isn't a "paranthetical phrase" which would normally be almost a bracketed phrase, sort of en passant to the general meaning, but more he is explaining the course of the progress of his thoughts.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To me, the sentence is horribly written. It doesn't clearly say what the project is an antidote for. Moreover, I don't like the "antidote" metaphor.

    Furthermore, it seems like a sentence fragment, i.e. a gigantic "if" clause.

    I am sure, however, that I wouldn't want to read a book written in this manner.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Let's turn the order round a little:

    If it, begun as a simple antidote by which I seek a little peace of mind, amid sorrows and anxieties both personal and collective, should turn into a real book, intended to be read.

    I hope it's a bit clearer now that it is, as people have pointed out, just an enormous and horrible if-clause, without a main clause at all. It does contain a parenthetical phrase which is

    begun as a simple antidote by which I seek a little peace of mind, amid sorrows and anxieties both personal and collective

    This itself contains another such phrase, and there is another such at the end, intended to be read.

    Let's just hope it never made it.
     

    film4reel

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    My mistake.

    Yes, it is a gigantic if clause. However, I have wondered what "begun as a simple(...) really serves in this sentence.

    What is its function?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    [....]However, I have wondered what "begun as a simple(...) really serves in this sentence.

    What is its function?
    Begun here is the past participle of begin, so I would call that a participial phrase functioning as an modifier or descriptor of "it".
     

    film4reel

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    ah, i see. therefore it is not parenthetical at all, but necessary. I thought so, but I couldn't convince myself it really was. thank you.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ah, i see. therefore it is not parenthetical at all, but necessary. I thought so, but I couldn't convince myself it really was. thank you.
    Oh dear no! It's not necessary at all. Let's take it away.

    If it should turn into a real book, intended to be read.

    That's better.

    P.S. In response to your latest post, Film4Reel, I want you to be clear that it is not a sentence.
     

    film4reel

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    err, yes. is it a free modifier phrase though?


    Free modifier: My father, chewing with unbridled fury, ate the bagel.
     
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