Thursday Dilemma

Here’s the problem: I’ve written an article for our student magazine HOWL and now I’m wondering whether one of the phrases I used is real English or a Germanism. I’ve already asked a few people and they all said they wouldn’t use the phrase. BUT when I googled it, I found it on sites obviously written by native speakers of English. Sooo … it’s all argh!

The sentence in question reads as follows:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that great events cast shadows ahead. Indeed, they might even cast shadows across a whole continent.

So will my boss drop dead as a doornail when he reads this or not? Thoughts? Ideas? Anything?

3 thoughts on “Thursday Dilemma

  1. Kate

    It makes perfect English sense, grammatically. But I still have issues with it. In the first sentence, it seems as though you’re talking about time. In the second sentence, you’re talking about geographic area. So it gets a little awkward attempting to compare the two. If you were saying “…cast shadows ahead. Indeed, they might even cast shadows hundreds of years into the future”. That’d work – they’re both time. Or. “…cast long shadows. Indeed, they might even cast…” That’d work if you’re talking about geography. It’s a stupid Englishism and I can’t explain why the way you’ve got it written isn’t quite right. That’s the problem with the internet – even native English speakers sometimes don’t get the language right! We’re stupid that way.

    Kindof like comparing apples and oranges, isn’t it? (And that’s an English idiom if I’ve EVER heard one).

    Now, that’s the grammar taken care of.

    I’m going to assume you’re talking about geography. Because if you’re talking about time, I, as a historian, have some major problems with the philosophy behind that statement… but I won’t get into them here.

    (Do I get to be the Horror-McIver now? Doesn’t quite have the same ring as Horror Schwab… 🙂

  2. Sandy

    Ooooh, Kate, I’m so relieved, I could just hug you! (The only problem, of course, is that I’d have to jump into my car, drive to the airport, buy a ticket, get onto a plane to … uhm … does Newcastle have an airport?) *mmmmwah* Thank you!

    The odd time/geography thing is intentional, btw. :O)

  3. Kate

    See, again with the snippet taken out of context… no more excerpts for me!

    I’m intrigued by your strange juxtaposition of time/geography now, though.

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