Rowling and elitists

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Fri Oct 31 18:53:20 EST 2003

> > Ignoring the "them there"; the second sentence here has faulty parallelism.
> > "If a reader is a car, then Rowling's book is an interstate" would be
> > stylistically more correct.
>I don't understand this remark; *why* would it be "more correct"? Isn't this
>a simple if-then: "if pigs can fly, then I'm a painter", "if a recipie is 
>a script,
>we can compile it to an AutoChef object file", "if this is an example, maybe
>my error will be explicated".

The statement isn't a simple if:then, because it is also creating a 
metaphor which has to be equally meaningful in both halves of the sentence. 
Statements like if:then in this case need to be grammatically parallel to 
be stylistically correct (and meaningful). Your examples are not quite the 
same in kind.

The writer starts off with a noun comparison: "if a reader is a car," then 
changes it to a verb, "Rowling has written". So the two halves of the 
sentence are not grammatically parallel. It's like comparing apples and 
pictures of oranges. It's not that big a grammatical transgression, 
admittedly, but the point is, here is a guy who is nitpicking about style.

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