I'm currently reading an essay "Two years are better Than Four", Liz Addison.

In the third paragraph, third sentence is quite problematic for me. It's saying:

For Mr. Perlstein, so rooted in his own nostalgia, is looking for himself – and he would never think to look for himself in the one place left where the college experience of self-discovery does still matter to those who get there.

I don't understand what "For" means in this sentence. Does it mean "because"? or Does it mean "in the shoes of Mr. Perlstein"? If it possible, I want to know whole meaning of this sentence.

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    It means because. The sentence it appears at the start of is explaining / justifying the immediately preceding sentence But he is wrong. Stripped of the "optional" additional clauses, the sentence under consideration means [He is wrong] because although he is "looking for himself", he's looking in the wrong place. Note that the whole text is excessively convoluted (it reads like a less-than-perfect writer "showing off" her command of obscure / formal / dated syntax). I wouldn't recommend it for learners. Jan 14, 2021 at 12:26
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    I've only just noticed the source of that article. The NYT does feature some "good" writers (Maureen Dowd comes to mind), but they also tend to favour some writers who write unnecessarily complicated prose. I think this is because some of their native speaker readers get a kick out of just about being able to parse and understand the text (a bit like the way I enjoy the intellectual challenge of cryptic crosswords). I certainly don't recommend copying Addison's style - even for the natives, let alone learners. Jan 14, 2021 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's an older usage of the word, meaning "because".

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