3

SOURCE

His assessment of Bloom—like his praise of other scholars and critics—is intensely personal, including jibes about his physical girth and style of delivery ("Bloom/Boom") and not the better for it.

I googled the meaning of it and got the explanation for "all the better for" is "improved as a result of". I wonder if it is correct to interpret the meaning of and is not the better for it in this sentence as

(The writer) doesn't gain anything/improve himself (by jibing at the critic).

  • The phrase is well-defined in numerous dictionaries, e.g. Macmillan. The next time you encounter a word or phrase that puzzles you, why not consult a dictionary instead of "googling it" first? It will save you a step! – P. E. Dant Jun 20 '17 at 3:03
1

Yes, that is what "to be the better for ____" means. (Another similar wording, which I think is only possible in the negative, is "to be no better off for ____".)

However, you haven't quite got the subject right. It's the writer's assessment that's not better for it:

The assessment is not improved by the inclusion of personal aspersions.

In general, when you see a possessive like "the writer's assessment", you can't take "the writer" out to be the subject of the next verb, unless you introduce a new pronoun.

So to allow your interpretation, we would need to see something like this:

The writer's assessment of the critic includes personal aspersions ... and he is not the better for it.

  • I am confused, does "his" refer to the writer or the critic? – No One Jun 20 '17 at 2:06
  • @TiWen It refers to the critic. The writer has made this assessment, so he is not likely to insult his own physical girth and style of delivery. :) – Luke Sawczak Jun 20 '17 at 2:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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