The case for

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
The case for man-made global warming is even stronger than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change maintained in its official assessments, according to the first scientific review published since December's Copenhagen conference and subsequent attacks on the IPCC's credibility.---taken from HERE
Dear all,

I can understand what the quote is saying, but wonder whether two red parts are comparable, because 'case' should be compared with 'what the intergovernmental panel suggests', at least to me.;)
Could you clear up my confusion? Thanks.


LQZ
 
  • Bigote Blanco

    Senior Member
    Dear all,

    I can understand what the quote is saying, but wonder whether two red parts are comparable, because 'case' should be compared with 'what the intergovernmental panel suggests', at least to me.;)
    Could you clear up my confusion? Thanks.


    LQZ
    The comparison is that:

    "The case" is stronger than the "official assessments" of ...
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Yes, and that is what it says. "The [actual] case" is compared with what "the IPCC maintained [the case to be]".
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    That's effectively what the sentence is saying, LQZ:)

    The case ... is even stronger
    than
    the Intergovernmental Panel ... maintained ...



    EDIT: I see BB and MM got there before me!
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Hi, everyone, thanks.

    But I am still confused. In my mind, the comparison shoud be that:

    The case ....is stronger than official assessments maintained by the Intergovernmental Panel

    :(
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Maintain" here is being used with the meaning "state" or "argue", LQZ ...
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    "Maintain" here is being used with the meaning "state" or "argue", LQZ ...
    Loob, I take your point. But I still think the original text is logically wrong. If I were to write, I would say:

    The case for man-made global warming is even stronger than what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change maintained in its official assessments, ...

    Is it idiomatic? Loob? ;)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    No, not really, LQZ. Well, it's idiomatic in some dialects, but not in Standard English.

    Think about simpler examples:

    She is prettier than I thought - not She is prettier than what I thought
    It is bigger than you said - not It is bigger than what you said
    ....
    The case is stronger than the Panel maintained - not The case is stronger than what the Panel maintained
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    No, we said that you understand the meaning (which is what, I believe, Bigote Blanco is saying). However, we are saying that you are wrong in saying that "what" is required in order for the statement to be "logical". See Loob's other examples, which have the same structure. These are perfectly natural.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you, everyone. I will keep an eye on this kind of structure and learn until one day I manipulate it. :)
     

    Bigote Blanco

    Senior Member
    :DBut others said Nos. Could you explain further?
    The case for man-made global warming is even stronger than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change maintained in its official assessments, according to the first scientific review published since December's Copenhagen conference and subsequent attacks on the IPCC's credibility.

    The way I read this is: The case..is stronger than...(the) official assessments...maintained (kept by) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change....

    In all fairness to my good friends also posting on this thread, the sentence may also be correctly read as: The case...is stronger than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate control maintained(claimed) in its official assessments.

    I believe the confusion is the use of "maintained" in this sentence. One can "maintain" ( claim/ hold) a position or "maintain" (keep/held) assessments.

    It's a fun sentence as it can be read correctly either way-as written.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I've tried standing on one leg, putting my glasses on backwards, and pouring tea over the keyboard. But I still can't read it your way, BB....

    I feel bad about that, since you said you could read it my way. I'm not as nice a person as you:(
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The original statement is not ambiguous (as to what "maintained" means). If maintained means "kept" or "kept in order" there is no subject comparable to "the case". It is only because maintained means "stated or argued persistently" that there are two cases to compare. This is because, as Loob's simpler examples show, verbs of speech (said, argued, maintained, thought) can stand for the contents of the speech which would otherwise be stated with a relative pronoun: "that it was", or similar, being assumed:
    "It is bigger than he said [that it was]."
    Or, "It is bigger than [what] he said."

    We can't necessarily make this assumption with other verbs such as "kept".

    "This case is stronger than they kept" doesn't make sense (at least not to me); there is no subject (another case) to compare "this case" to. You would have to say: "This case is stronger than the one that they kept" or in some other way refer to a second subject by using a pronoun or a noun.
     
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