0

It is from Crash Course World History. It is at around 8 minute and 39 second. Here it goes:

Culinary cultural fusion is all the rage; more novels translated from languages then ever before, although few are read, and in the surest sign of cultural globalization, football, the world's game, finally has reached America.

I guess the sentence would make sense if the preposition in were dropped out. Could you please tell me what did the host use it for?

  • than ever before – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 19 '18 at 11:18
1

Original quote

Culinary fusion is all the rage; more novels translated from languages then ever before, although few are read, and in the surest sign of cultural globalization, football, finally has reached America.

  • italics signify the subordinate clause

The preposition in shows that the main clause, Culinary fusion is all the rage and the second main clause, the surest sign of cultural globalization... are connected, through the co-ordinating conjunction and:

Culinary fusion is all the rage; more novels translated from languages then ever before, although few are read, and in the surest sign of cultural globalisation, football, finally has reached America.

The role of co-ordinating conjunctions is to connect main clauses together but can also co-ordinate 2 noun groups—I think the 2 overt nouns it’s connecting is “culinary fusion” and “cultural globalization": “Culinary fusion is all the rage and [in the surest sign of cultural globalization * ]…”

  • With football entering America as a marker of cultural globalisation.

Therefore, in this case the preposition is expressing a condition. The condition being that [cultural globalization such as football entering America] are all because of culinary fusion (the overarching 'theme').

The preposition almost ensures that "Culinary fusion" is the antecedent to "cultural globalization" and "football" that the co-ordinating conjunction does not. Although, co-ordinating conjunctions can coordinate 2 or more noun groups -- they don't necessarily signify that the nouns are related to the other.

Compare 1 and 2:

(1) Culinary fusion is all the rage and the surest sign of cultural globalization, football, finally has reached America.

(2) Culinary fusion is all the rage and in the surest sign of cultural globalization, football, finally has reached America.

In (1) it's obvious that "cultural globalization" is antecedent to the noun "football" but is not necessarily a result of culinary fusion. They are almost read as separate points because of the conjunction between them. In (2) it makes it much more obvious that culinary fusion and football entering America are connected.

ODO lists this definition of in under sense 4:

(often followed by a noun without a determiner) expressing a state or condition.

(3) ’to be in love’

(4) ’I’ve got to put my affairs in order’

(5) ’a woman in her thirties’

The condition of (3) is an object of desire, the condition of (4) is “my affairs” will only be “in order” once I put them so and the condition in (5) can be construed as a statement which is subject to change: at present, she remains “in her thirties”.

Though omitting the the preposition would be fine that would depend on what you want to convey. So the use of "in" is extremely important here and removing it would change the meaning of the sentence altogether.

Research has shown that "preposition ellipsis" is common in everyday speech and in some prose:

What are you doing (in) here?

A non-fiction titled "Do the Right Thing" published in 1998 has this sentence: 1

Am I treating this stranger with the same consideration that I would (with) a friend?

In these cases, adding the preposition is unnecessary and omitting the preposition does not change the intended meaning of the sentence.


1 https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/195724/when-do-you-leave-out-the-preposition-in-a-relative-clause

  • I am sorry, but I am very confused. How omitting can "in" change the meaning? – Dmytro O'Hope Jun 19 '18 at 10:39
1

I don't find that sentence to be perfectly idiomatic.

The main independent clause is:

football, the world's game, finally has reached America.

There is an adjunct phrase:

in the surest sign of cultural globalization

Normally a prepositional phrase headed by in provides a context for the action of the main clause. Compare:

In a gesture of sportsmanship, the angry players shook hands.

In an act of true cynicism, the defender slammed his elbow into the temple of the man he was guarding.

A sure sign is not really a context.

  • I am sorry, but I cannot understand this construction. What does "in" mean in the part "in an act of true cynism"? Does it mean kind of " in token of true cynicism"? I would really appreciate it if you provide a few more example of this construction and explanation. – Dmytro O'Hope Jun 19 '18 at 15:29
  • 1
    Consider: He opened his mouth wide in disbelief. A state of disbelief is the context for his opening his mouth wide. In other words, his opening his mouth wide is an expression of disbelief. The elbow to the temple is an expression of his cynicism. In an exaggerated gesture of disbelief, he let his jaw drop, opened his eyes wide, and put his hand on top of his head. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 19 '18 at 15:47
  • Would it have the same meaning if I say it like this: "Showing true cynicism, the defender..."? – Dmytro O'Hope Jun 19 '18 at 16:33

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.