Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, including, among other things, addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter.

For context: here

1)Is there any redundancy in "including, among other things"?

2)This part seems a bit odd: with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter. What is the apostrophe s contradiction for?

share|improve this question
2  
For question #2, you can read it as with a view toward bringing to [a satisfactory conclusion] [the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter], i.e. with a view toward bringing [the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter] to [a satisfactory conclusion]. –  Damkerng T. Feb 14 at 20:48
    
I vote “yes” for question 1, with the caveat that language does tolerate (and even employ) redundancies. –  Tyler James Young Feb 14 at 21:07
1  
I also nominate @Damkerng T. as official answerer of this question. –  Tyler James Young Feb 14 at 21:26
1  
It's verbose, sure. But that's in the nature of international agreements. Don't forget that teams of negotiators with almost certainly very high language skills probably spent hours arguing over the exact phrasing. One or other nation probably insisted on the apparently redundant among other things to make absolutely sure one of the other things they had wanted specifically mentioned couldn't be dismissed in later negotiations simply because it wasn't explicitly referenced in this communique. –  FumbleFingers Feb 15 at 0:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The confusion seems to be a result of a heavy NP shift (heavy noun phrase shift).

Consider:

with a view toward bringing it to a conclusion.
with a view toward bringing to a conclusion it.*
* denotes incorrect usage

We wouldn't move it to the end of the sentence because it is too light. However, in our sentence we instead have the UN Security Council's consideration of this matter, which is a heavy NP (noun phrase), so it can be shifted to the end.

with a view toward bringing to [a satisfactory conclusion] [the UN Security Council's consideration of this matter].

It might be easier to understand the phrase by moving the heavy NP back:

with a view toward bringing [the UN Security Council's consideration of this matter] to [a satisfactory conclusion].

With that, it should be easy to see that this heavy NP is simply the "Council's consideration", where "Council" means the UN Security Council, and the "consideration" means the consideration of this matter, and it's the Council's consideration.

The part "addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter" would refer to such addressing and it means that the addressing would be done with a view toward bringing the Council's consideration to a satisfactory conclusion.


As for whether including, among other things is redundant or not, I would say that it can be considered redundant; however, in my opinion, if we removed the among other things part, the addressing would appear to be less important than it currently is, as it appears in the original sentence.

share|improve this answer
2  
+1 I think, though, that the role of among other things is more than superfluous decoration. In my youth including was generally understood to introduce "some but not all members of the set"; but these days I see it used more and more in a comprehensive sense,to introduce "all members of the set". Under the principle that "Anything which can be misunderstood will be", I'm afraid that prudence now requires a writer to make clear whether the list which follows including is partial or complete. This is particularly the case in legal and diplomatic documents. –  StoneyB Feb 15 at 3:41
    
Got it; bringing X to Y has been changed to bringing to Y X. bringing to (Y:a satisfactory conclusion) (X:the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter). It is interesting that the to-phrase has been shifted backward. Would you give me a link explaining this issue in a way suitable for learners and some more examples where a Prepositional Phrase might be shifted? –  Juya Feb 16 at 20:12
1  
It might be better to think of this shifting as a "heavy NP shift" than a "to-phrase shift". I'm not sure if I could find it explained in typical grammar books for ELL. And as far as I can tell, there is no specific rule about when a NP is "heavy" enough to allow such shifting. However, I found this page, which discusses the shift in plain English. ... –  Damkerng T. Feb 16 at 21:30
1  
... From the page: A 'heavy' phrase (which need not be an NP) may sometimes be moved to the end of its sentence in order to make it easier to process, even if the normal rules require it to occur earlier. Also from the same page: Nobody knows how to define 'heaviness', nor do we really know how to allow this freedom for direct objects but not for indirect objects. –  Damkerng T. Feb 16 at 21:31

Among other things is more in the nature of semantic fluff, although it is redundant. The existence of "other things" is implied by the use of the word including. Otherwise, it might have been phrased like this:

There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, consisting of addressing the UN Security Council...

So yes, it is redundant. In the context, among other things appears to me to be adding useless length to the sentence. It's a misguided attempt at sounding impressive. ("I'll just throw more words at them. They'll never know the difference! Bumblebee. Gorgonzola. Chlorophyll. Soliloquy.")

As to the apostrophe, it is used to indicate a possessive form of "The UN Security Council". The sentence could be correctly re-written like this:

...with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the Councilˈs consideration of this matter.

Which could then be more plainly be re-written like this:

...with the intention of helping the Council to finish their deliberations on the issue.

When the modifiers are stripped, the possessive form of the noun becomes clear. The apostrophe is "correctly" used, in the sense that it is syntactically correct. However, the full extract would be easier to read if it were written like this:

Additionally, before the final step, there would be an address to the UN Security Council. It would be intended to help the Council conclude their deliberations in a manner that would be satisfactory to all parties.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.