Discussion:
Robert Elsmere
(too old to reply)
David Kleinecke
2019-11-03 23:15:08 UTC
Permalink
I found this paragraph in one of the Patheos blogs:
Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.

I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
Richard Heathfield
2019-11-03 23:27:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.
I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
There is, I think, a reading that works.

If you emphasise "that", you have a simple emphasis-motivated
re-ordering of "but Robert finds it increasingly hard to do that".

Parallel(ish) example:

"I'll do anything for love, but I won't do *that*" can be re-ordered to
"I'll do anything for love, but *that* I won't do".

It's the same idea: keeping all the words in the sentence, but shifting
"that" leftward to make it more prominent.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Katy Jennison
2019-11-04 09:27:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Heathfield
    Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
    of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
    to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
    would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
    of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
    hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.
I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
There is, I think, a reading that works.
If you emphasise "that", you have a simple emphasis-motivated
re-ordering of "but Robert finds it increasingly hard to do that".
Agreed. That was, indeed, my immediate reading of the sentence in
question, so I had to twiddle my mind momentarily in order to see what
David was asking. Surely a very common construction.
Post by Richard Heathfield
"I'll do anything for love, but I won't do *that*" can be re-ordered to
"I'll do anything for love, but *that* I won't do".
It's the same idea: keeping all the words in the sentence, but shifting
"that" leftward to make it more prominent.
--
Katy Jennison
Mark Brader
2019-11-03 23:31:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.
I thought so at first, but then I realized it seemed to be saying
that Robert was finding it hard to *refute his own presentation*
in the orthodox way. So now I'm not sure what the writer was
getting at. (Though I am sure that I don't care.)
Post by David Kleinecke
I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
My first reading was that the final clause was meant to be an
inverted construction: "that" was a pronoun, serving as the object of
"finds" and referring to "the proper orthodox response" -- and that
"it" (which seems to serve the exact same role) was added by mistake.
While writing this paragraph, I wondered if "it" was actually a typo
for "is".

But it's all a guess. I don't know and I don't care.
--
Mark Brader | "I'd spell creat with an e."
Toronto | --Ken Thompson, when asked what he'd
***@vex.net | change if he was redesigning UNIX

My text in this article is in the public domain.
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-04 12:58:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.
I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
"That" is a pronoun, referring to stressing the nature. "It" is the
dummy "it's hard to do that."
Rich Ulrich
2019-11-04 16:58:34 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 4 Nov 2019 04:58:49 -0800 (PST), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by David Kleinecke
Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.
I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
"That" is a pronoun, referring to stressing the nature. "It" is the
dummy "it's hard to do that."
Nice!
--
Rich Ulrich
Ross
2019-11-05 19:40:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Throughout, Robert Elsmere presents Christian ideas as part
of a myth system, an approach that Christians happily applied
to other traditions. The proper orthodox response to this
would of course be to stress the historical and factual nature
of Christian claims, but that Robert finds it increasingly
hard to do.
The last clause is problematical but understandable.
I think the poster first wrote "that Robert finds increasingly hard
to do" then upon reading and missing the "that" added the "it" to
make a complete clause.
Never having heard of Robert Elsmere (or "Robert Elsemere") before
seeing this thread, I thought it must be significant when the name
appeared again a couple of days later in a book I was reading:

Before starting for the Rockies he had an adolescent picture of
the west, which he believed to be exclusively populated by cowboys,
redskins,and outlaws, and he was surprised to find that many of his
fellow-travellers were reading Mrs Humphrey Ward's best-seller in
paper covers. 'As each page is finished, it is torn out and flung
through the window', he reported, 'so that in the end the American
prairie will get a top-dressing of Robert Elsmere.'

(A footnote points out that this must be a later invention, since
"Robert Elsmere" was not published until several years after his
American tour.)

- Hesketh Pearson, The Life of Oscar Wilde, p.76

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