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Source: Rebecca Gowers. Plain Words (2014 ed). p. 186 Middle.

Here are two more examples of sentences that have to be unravelled before they yield any meaning.

[1.] The Opposition refused leave for the withdrawal of a motion to annul an Order revoking the embargo on the importation of cut glass.

  1. How could've I understood the sentence overhead more hurriedly, and not spend 15 minutes rewriting?

  2. Can 1 be rewritten more precisely and reliability? Mine forsakes details.

1 can be streamlined to:

  1. Opposition refused leave for the withdrawal of a motion to annul an Order revoking the embargo [...].

'refuse leave for the withdrawal of' can be regarded as 'uphold'. So 2 can be simplified to:

  1. Opposition upheld a motion to annul an Order revoking the embargo.

Upholding a motion to do X, signifies upholding X. So 3 ⇒:

  1. Opposition upheld annulling an Order revoking the embargo.

You'd uphold to annul X only if you scorn X. So 4 ⇒:

  1. Opposition scorns an Order revoking the embargo. QED.
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  • Are you thinking of this as "(The Opposition refused leave) (for the withdrawal of a motion) (to annul an Order revoking the embargo) (on the importation of cut glass)."? It might be more useful to point out which part is unclear, rather than try to rewrite it. – user3169 Jun 3 '18 at 19:09
  • @user3169 I didn't decompose the sentence explicitly like you, but my mind probably did. Yet the decomposition doesn't help, because I couldn't unravel the first 3 parentheses in my mind? – NNOX Apps Jun 3 '18 at 20:10
  • Do you understand the meaning of leave: "noun 1. permission to do something - he was granted leave to speak"? The "to do something" is the "withdrawal of a motion". The rest just describes the motion. – user3169 Jun 4 '18 at 0:03
  • @user316 Yes. I do understand that. – NNOX Apps Jun 4 '18 at 19:44

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