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Just saw this sentence on reddit, and it's bothering me. Is this construction grammatical?

"You won't like my answer, but read a lot."

I assume the second clause is something like (you should) read a lot or (my answer is) read a lot.

Thank you.

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  • Excuse me, what bothers you? The sentence is pretty straight. Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 16:09
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    Yes, it is not the best sentence, you are right in terms of both your comments. "You won't like my answer: read a lot". or "My answer is: Read a lot." As written, it was awkward.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 16:09
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    @SovereignSun It's bothering me because it's unclear what components were ellipsed and whether it makes sense to coordinate them like this. Doesn't look like the most conventional sentence, that's all. Couldn't find anything about it in CGEL. Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

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It's grammatical only if it has the "you should read" meaning. But in that case, it would be a nonsensical sentence. It'd be grammatical because it joins two independent clauses with a comma and conjunction, but the two clauses don't seem to relate to each other.

I think that the Reddit user probably meant that his/her answer gets read a lot. In that case, it is not a grammatically correct sentence. If that's what the user meant, s/he should have said, "You won't like my answer, but it gets read a lot."

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  • +1 But my best guess is that this may actually have been offensive. The full ellipsis may have been along the lines of "You won't like my answer, but (that's because you're ignorant, you should) read a lot." Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 4:53
  • Yes, that's definitely another possible meaning.
    – mlecoz
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 5:00
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    This Reddit writer needs to get his/her act together haha
    – mlecoz
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 5:00
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    I agree. Grammatical or not, it's very bad writing. But then, so many comments on Reddit and other internet forums are! Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 5:01

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