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Check My Sentence Please Options
Volcano
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 10:47:37 AM
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It is a struggle for survival to be born as a bereft.

It is a struggle for survival, to be born as a bereft.

Which is ok?
grammargeek
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 10:57:33 AM
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I don't understand what you are trying to say because you are using "bereft" as a noun, but "bereft" only functions as a verb or an adjective.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 10:59:03 AM

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do you mean "born as an orphan", who is a person bereft of parents?

and is there a difference to chose between?
MarySM
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:01:45 AM
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The sentence would be correct as "It is a struggle for survival to be born bereft." That would mean to be born poor.
Volcano
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:06:48 AM
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Thanks, MarySM.That's what I meant.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:08:05 AM

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I would still argue you need to be bereft of something, and it does not work for money in general.

Bereft does not mean poor, it means something has been taken away from you and you are left bereft, incomplete, missing a part of yourself.
Volcano
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:08:28 AM
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thar wrote:
do you mean "born as an orphan", who is a person bereft of parents?

and is there a difference to chose between?


I wonder what difference the comma makes.
Volcano
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:11:38 AM
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thar wrote:
I would still argue you need to be bereft of something, and it does not work for money in general.

Bereft does not mean poor, it means something has been taken away from you and you are left bereft, incomplete, missing a part of yourself.


"I grew up in a culture where salmon is king. But I've never known them, because of the Grand Coulee Dam. So I was born bereft."

http://motherjones.com/interview/2009/11/sherman-alexie-dont-call-me-warrior-extended
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:21:15 AM

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Volcano wrote:
thar wrote:
I would still argue you need to be bereft of something, and it does not work for money in general.

Bereft does not mean poor, it means something has been taken away from you and you are left bereft, incomplete, missing a part of yourself.


"I grew up in a culture where salmon is king. But I've never known them, because of the Grand Coulee Dam. So I was born bereft."

http://motherjones.com/interview/2009/11/sherman-alexie-dont-call-me-warrior-extended


the context here finishes the quote
"I was born bereft of salmon being in the lake, bereft of all the culture that went with it"

It is saying he was incomplete and culturally lost because the salmon had been taken away from the world he was born into. It is still nothing to do with money. Is that what you are trying to say?

Bereft can't work on its own, if it is a there it has to refer to something in the passage.
excaelis
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:40:54 AM

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Volcano wrote:
thar wrote:
I would still argue you need to be bereft of something, and it does not work for money in general.

Bereft does not mean poor, it means something has been taken away from you and you are left bereft, incomplete, missing a part of yourself.


"I grew up in a culture where salmon is king. But I've never known them, because of the Grand Coulee Dam. So I was born bereft."

http://motherjones.com/interview/2009/11/sherman-alexie-dont-call-me-warrior-extended


While in general usage I would agree with you, Thar, I think in this case logic must bow to lyricism. Poetic language by it's nature is often unconventional. For example, Dylan Thomas' use of the name Jacob as a verb in 'Altarwise by Owl-light' is a magnificent example of an unconventional usage enabling great compression of ideas.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 1:41:54 PM

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I think the original quote needs more context, I'm not saying it has to be explicit but is has to give some sort of feeling, otherwise the reader is left dissatisfied with the quotation.
GeorgeV
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:44:40 PM
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Maybe "born underprivileged" ?
Investigator
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 5:47:41 PM
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thar wrote:
I think the original quote needs more context, I'm not saying it has to be explicit but is has to give some sort of feeling, otherwise the reader is left dissatisfied with the quotation.


I agree Thar and I would point out that you would not say "a bereft" without including a noun after (person, soul, child, etc.), although as a stretch I guess the noun could be implied.
excaelis
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 6:03:42 PM

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MarySM wrote:
The sentence would be correct as "It is a struggle for survival to be born bereft." That would mean to be born poor.


It is crtainly better written this way, MarySM. Bereft is being used here in a generalised sense. Literalism might demand an explanation of the nature of the deprivation, but in this example that would run counter to the aphoristic feeling of the sentence. Leaving it non-specific allows us to consider any kind of poverty; of hope ,of love etc. Sometimes being 'correct' is too restrictive for expressing our ideas.
Ramiel
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:27:34 PM
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EXCAELIS WROTE;

It is crtainly better written this way, MarySM. Bereft is being used here in a generalised sense. Literalism might demand an explanation of the nature of the deprivation, but in this example that would run counter to the aphoristic feeling of the sentence. Leaving it non-specific allows us to consider any kind of poverty; of hope ,of love etc. Sometimes being 'correct' is too restrictive for expressing our ideas.


Excaelis, I agree more and more these days being correct is not the way forward. So how do you think the never ending quest for love, "happy ever after" etc can be achieved? cheers in advance.
saintvivant1
Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9:48:02 PM
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In this sentence "bereft" is bereft of an object.
Ellenrita
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 3:23:37 AM
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Agree with Thar. It is as if he were saying 'I was born without'. Well without what? Bereft of what?
thar
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:03:17 AM

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Ellenrita wrote:
Agree with Thar. It is as if he were saying 'I was born without'. Well without what? Bereft of what?


thanks - I think that is what I was trying to say, you just said it better.
excaelis
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 6:03:59 PM

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I'd requote Samuel Beckett: 'Fail. Fail again. Fail better.' When seeking love we look for someone to complete ourselves, all the while unaware that we are already complete, and that what we really need is someone who will make us believe that what we are is enough.
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