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Hello distinguished friends,

I've come across a word with which I am unfamiliar. Without further ado, I am putting the text:

It is perhaps risky to begin a paper by suggesting a possible change of title, particularly if the suggested change approximates a reversal of the original. This may seem flippant. The risk, however, is worth taking, the purpose being to press home a point.

My issue is centered on the last part which is "the purpose being...". As far as I am concerned, the author intends to say sort of this: "However, the risk is worth taking with the purpose of emphasizing a point".

So, these are my questions:

1- Is what I understand is right? If not, what is the right meaning?

2- If it is right, what kind of usage is this? It looks strange to me. And could I use like this way: "I don't want to go out with you, the purpose being to study for my exams"

Just in case, I put the meaning of confusing -at least for me- words:

flippant: not being serious about something that other people think you should be serious about

home press: make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something. f.e. They're trying to press home their message.

Thanks a bunch.

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    the purpose being to = the purpose is to x
    – Lambie
    Mar 1 '21 at 23:43
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    You understood it almost correctly. This might be more idiomatic: "However, the risk is worth taking in order to emphasize a point". Mar 2 '21 at 4:00
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    Thank both of you for the comments guys! Because of time zone differences, I am replying a little bit late. And I remember you Old Brixtonian, we've talked before:) I hope you are fine :)
    – grammarian
    Mar 2 '21 at 8:24
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    @grammerian You're welcome. We have. I am and I hope you are. Your questions are always interesting. Mar 5 '21 at 2:24
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    Thank you Brixtonian. I am good as well. I am trying to ask questions that are not mentioned in grammar books so that it may be helpful for others :D
    – grammarian
    Mar 7 '21 at 22:07
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I don't want to go out with you, the purpose being to study for my exams.

You couldn’t really use it like this, as it’s a negative/something that you’re not doing/doesn’t exist, so it can’t really have a purpose.

You could say:

I’ll be staying home instead of going out with you, the purpose being to study for my exams.

I’ll be honest, it’s not a phrase I particularly like, not least because the same thing could be said in much simpler ways.

Also, whose purpose is to press home a point? Changing a title? Taking a risk in and of itself? Though I understand the author’s intent, its not particularly clear to me from the wording without reading between the lines.

There is also further confusion:

It is perhaps risky to begin a paper by suggesting a possible change of title, particularly if the suggested change approximates a reversal of the original. This may seem flippant.

Two things are expressed:

  1. Changing a title.
  2. Changing a title which approximates a reversal of the original.

It’s not clear to me which one may supposedly seem flippant.

A much better expression (if they are intending to mean both) would be:

It may seem flippant.

Anyway, all in all, I take this paragraph to mean:

I’m changing the title, which may seem flippant, but it’s worth risking being seen as flippant because in changing the title I’m making a point.

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  • Thank you Chris, for your answer. I also didn't like this usage. It seems this usage is a more formal way. As for confusions, I could say that what seems flippant is changing the title with a reversal of it. Because in the process of publishing it is a usual thing to change a title. But changing with the reversal is really weird.
    – grammarian
    Mar 2 '21 at 8:36
  • Secondly, because changing the title equals taking the risk, for me, there is no exactly confusion. I mean the author will home press a point by taking the risk which is changing the title due to home press somethin.
    – grammarian
    Mar 2 '21 at 8:40

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