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Jigneshbharati
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 3:25:24 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
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The moon hung low above the horizon, and all around it the pale sky was still spangled with stars.
I read the above in "The Golden horsemen of Baghdad".
How do we decide whether "spangled" is an adjective or a passive construction?
thar
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 3:41:09 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
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1 there is a reason why adjectives look like past participles - because sometimes it doesn't matter or make much difference.

2 did someone spangle it? Was it spangled by someone or something?

3 is this describing the state of the sky - what it looked like, or is it describing the action has been done to it?

If you really can't answer 2 or 3, return to answer 1!


Jigneshbharati
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 4:01:24 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 3,504
Neurons: 18,397
Is it an adjective in the given context?
I can't find any agent( by someone or something).
Spangled by stars? It doesn't sound natural.
Thank you thar!
tautophile
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 4:12:35 PM
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Joined: 3/14/2018
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A "spangle" was originally "something glittery", and so a night sky nspangled with stars is one in which the stars glitter brightly. The word is most commonly heard these days in the name and refrain of the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", which refers to the US flag (with stars in the blue canton) which remained flying over Fort McHenry, outside Baltimore, Maryland, despite bombardment by the Royal Navy on the night of 14 September 1814 during (what Americans call) the War of 1812. The actual flag--a large one--is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. It had 15 stars, one for each of the 15 states then in the US. (There are now 50 states.)

The anthem is sung to the tune of a drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven", popular at the time, and the words were written by Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer who witnessed the bombardment from the deck of a British ship; he had been trying to negotiate the release of some American civilians whom the British had captured a few days before. The relevant verses of the refrain are "O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave / O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 4:18:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 3,504
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