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"until mankind shall have entered a stage of intellectual advancement" Options
maltliquor87
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 12:40:45 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 11/29/2017
Posts: 76
Neurons: 46,110
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hello!

Here's a sentence from an essay of John S. Mill:

Quote:
It still remains to speak of one of the principal causes which make diversity of opinion advantageous, and will continue to do so until mankind shall have entered a stage of intellectual advancement which at present seems at an incalculable distance.


I think that the construction in bold is hardly ever used nowadays since the "shall" seems out of place in it. How would you edit it to make the sentence more modern? My sense is that changing the original words in bold to either "should have entered" or "have entered" would do the trick. I'd be glad to read your suggestions.

BobShilling
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 1:42:09 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 290
Neurons: 2,284
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
[quote=maltliquor87H"have entered" would do the trick.[/quote]

I agree.
NKM
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 3:36:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,654
Neurons: 242,831
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Certainly it is true that this construction is rarely used nowadays, but it is far from obsolete. In fact the very strangeness of the phrasing lends a special strength and power to the sentence as a whole, which would likely be undermined by any simple attempt at modernization.

The phrase "until mankind shall have entered …" and the words which follow it serve to provide a masterful expression of the author's grave doubt that mankind will ever achieve such intellectual advancement.

It is an elegant and eloquent statement. 

"It ain't broke; don't fix it!"

palapaguy
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 11:15:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,010
Neurons: 10,059
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
NKM wrote:
Certainly it is true that this construction is rarely used nowadays, but it is far from obsolete. In fact the very strangeness of the phrasing lends a special strength and power to the sentence as a whole, which would likely be undermined by any simple attempt at modernization.

The phrase "until mankind shall have entered …" and the words which follow it serve to provide a masterful expression of the author's grave doubt that mankind will ever achieve such intellectual advancement.

It is an elegant and eloquent statement. 

"It ain't broke; don't fix it!"


I agree. Sadly, this very pleasant, sophisticated side of the English language is slowly fading away as the "coarsening of society" relentlessly progresses. Even the genders themselves, I'm afraid, are on the path to obsolesence.
maltliquor87
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 4:12:04 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 11/29/2017
Posts: 76
Neurons: 46,110
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thank you guys
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