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This is from the BBC web site, Trapped in Saudi Arabia: A mother's fight to free her daughter

That effort too came to nothing, along she insists with appeals to US Embassy staff in Riyadh.

What does along mean here? Does it mean but/however? I checked 2 dictionaries and the word along does not seem to have such a meaning.

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    Not idiomatically correct in American English. We would expect "although" here.
    – keshlam
    Oct 30, 2022 at 1:58
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    @keshlam: It is actually fine, but reads oddly the way it is punctuated - putting the "she insists" in parentheses (or even between commas) would make it much easier to parse!
    – psmears
    Oct 30, 2022 at 22:29
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    @psmears I would say that it is not fine. Commas are absolutely necessary here
    – Kevin
    Oct 31, 2022 at 14:03
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    That's just sloppy writing, equally so in AmE and BrE. Without the commas, the sentence barely makes sense at all.
    – terdon
    Oct 31, 2022 at 15:47

2 Answers 2

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It's all down to how the sentence is parsed:

That effort too came to nothing, along she insists with appeals to US Embassy staff in Riyadh.

I hope these parentheses make it clearer:

That effort too came to nothing, along (she insists) with appeals to US Embassy staff in Riyadh.

So it is "along with appeals to ..."

Neither writing to the White House, nor appealing to the embassy, produced any result.

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    I would have written it with a comma, parenthesis, or em dash before 'she insists' and another one after. Oct 29, 2022 at 18:22
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    Yes. For "along with" you can substitute "as well as" or "together with". Perhaps a better way to write it would be That effort, together with appeals to US Embassy staff, came to nothing - she insisted.
    – WS2
    Oct 29, 2022 at 18:22
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    Nice answer. I was ready to declare this one simply bad grammar.
    – gotube
    Oct 29, 2022 at 19:13
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    @MichaelHarvey I would argue it is nonstandard not to indicate some sort of punctuation. It doesn't make sense even verbally without a pause.
    – trlkly
    Oct 30, 2022 at 2:11
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    Yes, “she insists” should absolutely have been offset with commas on either side. Without, it’s wrong as written. But this is near-certainly what was meant.
    – KRyan
    Oct 30, 2022 at 2:52
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No, along does not mean but. But the sentence is poor, as mentioned in the other answer.

"Nor did" would be better English, as it is negative. "Along with" is positive but "came to nothing" is negative:

That effort too came to nothing, nor did appeals to US Embassy staff in Riyadh.

If you must have "she insists" it should be after a comma right at the end.

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    No. Came "came to nothing" is positive. "Did not come to anything" would be the corresponding negative. Therefore, the suggested use of "nor did" is incorrect, and indeed it sounds awkward, though it probably gets the idea across better than the original sentence. One correct phrasing would be "That effort too came to nothing, as did appeals to US Embassy staff in Riyadh." Oct 30, 2022 at 14:08

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