...contained such dubieties as give non-insiders pause

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vkv

Member
Bulgarian
A am struggling to understand part of a sentence I encountered in Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections.

The part in question is in bold:

"This money was available now for investment in Axon; and since the IPO was still three months away, and since the big sales push for it had not begun, and since the red herring contained such dubieties as give non-insiders pause, Gary should have had no trouble getting a commitment for five thousand shares."

I believe I understand what it means, but the structure is puzzling to me.

Is this a common structure and where can I read more about it?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    What puzzles you? "Such dubieties as ___"? It means the red herring had dubious elements that would cause non-insiders to pause or hesitate.

    That is an unusual way to express the idea. I have no idea where you can find more information about that particular structure.
     
    Are you referring to the phrase 'as give...'? The rest of the sentence (second clause) is pretty ordinary in structure: Since A, B, C, then X.

    The stew he made from food found in garbage cans contained such rotten stuff as would make a seagull vomit*.


    the red herring contained such dubieties as give non-insiders pause,

    *I have revised the example, in a later post. I was trying to simply and so, above, did not include an indirect object.
     
    Last edited:

    j-p-c

    Senior Member
    Are you referring to the phrase 'as give...'? The rest of the sentence (second clause) is pretty ordinary in structure: Since A, B, C, then X.

    The stew he made from food found in garbage cans contained such rotten stuff as would make a seagull vomit.


    the red herring contained such dubieties as give non-insiders pause,

    I'm not a native speaker, but isn't the OP's confusion caused by the lack of "to" to indicate that "give" is the infinitive form ?

    Isn't the correct form ".... such dubieties as TO give non-insiders pause,..." ? I'm genuinely asking the question.
     
    I'm not a native speaker, but isn't the OP's confusion caused by the lack of "to" to indicate that "give" is the infinitive form ?

    Isn't the correct form ".... such dubieties as TO give non-insiders pause,..." ? I'm genuinely asking the question.
    'To' is often omitted before the indirect object. "I am going to give Mom a gift."

    I have revised my example to include this point you raise. Thanks! See next post.
     
    B The stew he made from food found in garbage cans contained such rotten stuff as would make a seagull vomit.


    the red herring contained such dubieties as give non-insiders{IO} pause {DO},

    ===
    I am re doing my example sentence to contain an indirect object, as in the OP:

    B* The stew he made from food found in garbage cans contained such rotten stuff as would give a seagull{IO} an upset stomach {DO}.
     

    j-p-c

    Senior Member
    Thanks Bennymix, I didn't realise a choice is available between according the verb or using the infinitive. A shorter example:

    "They made a racket such as gives me a headache", or

    "They made a racket such as to give me a headache".

    In the plural it looked to me as if the "to" was missing, my bad !

    Thanks again.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    ...contained such dubieties as give non-insiders pause...

    "Such" here isn't emphatic here, in my opinion. I don't know whether that was made clear. It means "the kind of". "As" means "that".

    The red herring contained just the kind of dubious things that make non-insiders stop and think (about the wisdom of investing in the company).
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not a native speaker, but isn't the OP's confusion caused by the lack of "to" to indicate that "give" is the infinitive form ?

    Isn't the correct form ".... such dubieties as TO give non-insiders pause,..." ? I'm genuinely asking the question.
    Actually it's not the infinitive here, although your idea is interesting.

    "..."since the red herring contained such dubieties as give non-insiders pause ..."

    The subject of the clause is "dubieties" and the active verb "give".

    "Dubieties give non-insiders pause."

    "such dubieties as give non-insiders pause" = "the type of dubieties that give non-insiders pause"

    ___________________

    Cross-posted - I see that while I was typing velisarius gave essentially the same answer.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    For completeness:
    to give [someone/something] pause = to cause [someone/something] to hesitate, usually, but not always, in order to consider something.
     
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