Jim Wood

Month: October, 2012

Orð fá ekki lýst hinu dásamlega útsýni sem þarna var og er okkur öllum ógleymanlegt.

… what introduces the boldfaced argument here? Ég fæ ekki lýst því…

Figure reflexive impersonal passive

It’s always fun for me when I find images directly illustrating constructions I study. I came across this one recently, where the caption illustrates an impersonal passive of a figure reflexive:

The caption reads:

Þarna var   klöngrast       upp.
there   was clambered-st up
‘People/we clambered up there.’ (source)

Like so many…

There’s this expression like so many PLURAL NOUN in some varieties of English that I’ve never understood; meaning, I literally don’t process it, even if I know what they speaker is saying. Some examples from the web:

Though we are living in the age of the indie-rock reunion, one has to wonder if, like so many trees falling in forests, if a band reunites in Cleveland does anyone know? (source)

Watching skyscrapers swaying back and forth during the quake like so many trees, was proof that the engineers had found the right design for the job. (source)

When I first came across this, it was in a “creative non-fiction” writing class in college, when we were asked to read each other’s work and offer critique and suggestions. I highlighted this phrase and told the author that it didn’t make any sense. It was an honest mistake on my part: I still don’t process this construction. Something just doesn’t “link up” syntactically for me.