To all the places and surfaces we’ve been warned

PureLand

Senior Member
Chinese
To all the places and surfaces we’ve been warned are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M. — add the airport security tray. Airport Security Trays Carry More Cold Germs Than Toilets, Study Finds

I tend to interpret the sentence as a combination of the two:

1. We've been warned (that) all the places and surfaces are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M.

2. Add the airport security tray to all the places and surfaces.
(used to introduce another fact that helps to emphasize a point you have already made)

I'm not sure if my understanding makes sense though :confused: Also, I don't have a clue why the sentence is written as it is. I haven't seen this kind of syntax before. Its meaning is understandable to me but the syntax doesn't quite sink in. :confused: Thank you :)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You seem to understand it. :)

    The usual order of the sentence would be:
    Add the airport security tray to all the places and surfaces we’ve been warned are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M.
    They may have inverted this order to emphasize the airport security tray as a place that is full of germs or bacteria. Putting something out the expected place draws attention to it. Or they may have thought that the meaning would be clearer if they first explained that they were concerned about bacteria and germs and then mentioned the security tray. Or it may be a combination of the two reasons, or some other reason.

    It's often possible to invert the usual order in English, and writers do it for a variety of reasons.
     

    PureLand

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    You seem to understand it. :)

    The usual order of the sentence would be:
    Add the airport security tray to all the places and surfaces we’ve been warned are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M.
    They may have inverted this order to emphasize the airport security tray as a place that is full of germs or bacteria. Putting something out the expected place draws attention to it. Or they may have thought that the meaning would be clearer if they first explained that they were concerned about bacteria and germs and then mentioned the security tray. Or it may be a combination of the two reasons, or some other reason.

    It's often possible to invert the usual order in English, and writers do it for a variety of reasons.
    Got it! Thanks so much for your clear explanation, Cagey :D

    A new question arises though.

    :idea: Add the airport security tray to all the places and surfaces [that are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M]. (The sentence is fine. 'That' serves as a relative pronoun followed by a relative clause.)

    :confused: Add the airport security tray to all the places and surfaces we’ve been warned are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M. (What's the function of we’ve been warned here? The syntax here becomes intricate.) Thank you :)
     
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