A Dummy Subject Changes Much

The difference of a single it: One word, a dummy subject, turns a subject noun clause into the object of to say. It also potentially changes a vel into an aut.

[Whether this is a case of [life imitating art or art masquerading as history]]SBJ is impossible to say.

[Whether this is a case of [life imitating art] or [art masquerading as history]]OBJ itSBJ.DUMMY is impossible to say.

Sentence source: a New Yorker article about Seneca (HT: Fred Sanders).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s