If it flag for an instant, and oversight is committed.

Hendrix00

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, nice fellas.

I'm reading 'The murders in the Rue Morgue'.

It's such a challenging job to keep his works. Most of them are full of tough words.
But I'm not giving it up.

I ran into a slightly puzzling word.
Let me make it short and simple this time.

'The attention is here called powerfully into play. If it flag for an instant, resulting in injury or defeat.'

First of all, I had to find out what 'flag' means, especially as a verb.
It means to get weak, or become tired, my dictionary says.

Okay, I got it.

But why is there no 's' or 'ed' at the end?

As the subject is 'it', 'flag' should 'flags', and if it's the subjective mood, then it gotta be 'flagged'. Isn't so?

----------------------------------------

One more please.

The structre of the sentence is, simply put,

If it flag, and oversight is committed, resulting in injury.

Doesn't it look incomplete?
It started with 'If' and a subject and a verb, then another subject and a verb should be followed.
There is none though, making it look not complete.

Would you please help me figure that out?
I'm begging to hate Edgar Alan Poe though he's a great writer.

I'd appreciate any comments as I always have.
Thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi, nice fellas.

    I'm reading 'The murders in the Rue Morgue'.

    It's such a challenging job to keep his works. Most of them are full of tough words.
    But I'm not giving it up.

    I ran into a slightly puzzling word.
    Let me make it short and simple this time.

    'The attention is here called powerfully into play. If it flag for an instant, resulting in injury or defeat.'

    First of all, I had to find out what 'flag' means, especially as a verb.
    It means to get weak, or become tired, my dictionary says.

    Okay, I got it.

    But why is there no 's' or 'ed' at the end?

    As the subject is 'it', 'flag' should 'flags', and if it's the subjective mood, then it gotta be 'flagged'. Isn't so?

    One more please.

    The structre of the sentence is, simply put,

    If it flag, and oversight is committed, resulting in injury.

    Doesn't it look incomplete?
    It started with 'If' and a subject and a verb, then another subject and a verb should be followed.
    There is none though, making it look not complete.

    Would you please help me figure that out?
    I'm begging to hate Edgar Alan Poe though he's a great writer.

    I'd appreciate any comments as I always have.
    Thank you.
    There is clearly a sentence structure error or error in your transcription. Did you truncate the second sentence?
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    The text I found is "If it flag for an instant, an oversight is committed, resulting in injury or defeat." which reads OK.
    I guess "If it flag" is subjunctive i.e. If it were to flag... / If it should flag...
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The text I found is "If it flag for an instant, an oversight is committed, resulting in injury or defeat." which reads OK.
    I guess "If it flag" is subjunctive i.e. If it were to flag... / If it should flag...
    Yes that is what I just found in my print edition of Poe. The original sentence given is not correctly transcribed.

    As far as English learners reading Poe, yes he's a fascinating writer, but any English author from the 1850s is going to use vocabulary and sentence structure that are far more complex than we see in 2020. We have long running threads of folks making their way through Dickens and Melville as well.
     
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