'which' is why there .... [refers to?]

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Lackswords

New Member
Chinese (Dialect: Cantonese)
Just read an internet article - Where is la-la land? By HAU BOON LAI - , which suggests that if one is familiar with the cultural references of a language, it would help learning of that language. Am not quite sure about what is 'which' refering to in the following passage:

The phrase “tea party”, apart from the meaning of having a cuppa and some cakes with friends, has been and is now used very often to symbolise protest, usually against an unfair government, which is why there has been unhappiness among supporters of US President Barack Obama who believe that Tea Party activists are targeting the American leader unfairly.

Kindly help. Thank you.
 
  • ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Am not quite sure about what is 'which' refering to in the following passage:

    The phrase “tea party”, apart from the meaning of having a cuppa and some cakes with friends, has been and is now used very often to symbolise protest, usually against an unfair government, which is why there has been unhappiness among supporters of US President Barack Obama who believe that Tea Party activists are targeting the American leader unfairly.
    The "which" applies to the part of the sentence preceding it that I've colored in blue. The bit that I've highlighted in green is of course not part of the definition to which the "which" refers.

    Cheers,
    Abba
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Moderator note:

    Just a reminder (before we go off track) that political science and analysis of current events are outside the scope of the forum. Let's stick to the language question, please!

    Thanks.
    Nunty
     

    Lackswords

    New Member
    Chinese (Dialect: Cantonese)
    Thanks for the reminder. I have been trying to find out from the part of the sentence preceding 'which' the reason for their unhappiness, as the parts are connected by 'which is why...'.

    Thanks,
    Lackswords
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    If the tea-party people protest against unfair government, and they protest against President Obama, that means that they think President Obama and his government are unfair.

    The people who support President Obama think he is a good president, and that it is unfair [unjust] to treat him as though he was part of an unfair government. That is why they are unhappy when the tea-party people attack him.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    I'd say this is a case of poor adequation between the meaning intended and the words actually written.
    As it is, the sentence seems to suggest the term tea party and the way it's used is the direct cause of the supporters' miscontent, which I'm sure isn't exactly what the writer had in mind.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I'd say this is a case of poor adequation between the meaning intended and the words actually written.
    As it is, the sentence seems to suggest the term tea party and the way it's used is the direct cause of the supporters' miscontent, which I'm sure isn't exactly what the writer had in mind.
    It may be possible to improve the writing, but the writer is talking about the emotional resonance the phrase Tea Party has in this country. It is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a protest of the American colonialists against the British, against "taxation without representation". This is regarded as the early evidence of the rebellion that would lead eventually to the revolution and the formation of a the United States as an independent country.

    The people who identify themselves with the contemporary Tea Party movement are identifying their cause with the resistance to British rule under George III. In other words, it is the reference itself that supporters of President Obama think is unfair, the implication that President Obama is to be equated to King George III.

    See:Boston Tea Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited:

    Lackswords

    New Member
    Chinese (Dialect: Cantonese)
    Thank you Cagey for the necessary history of the United States, and thanks all for adding much clarity to my understanding of the passage. That is, if the 2009 movement does not bear any reference like 'tea party', it may not make President Obama's supporters unhappy since in that case, it is just a series of protests without any connotation about the ones/things being protested against.

    Cheers,
    Lackswords
     
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