That is why distinguished minds have always shown such an extreme dislike to disturbance in any form, as something that breaks in upon and distracts their thoughts. Above all have they been averse to that violent interruption that comes from noise. Ordinary people are not much put out by anything of the sort.

Source, Original Source by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Would you tell me if the adverb "above all" could trigger subject-auxiliary inversion?

1 Answer 1


As I stated in the other question you asked about this passage, the language you will find in this passage is likely to be archaic and generally unusual for modern English speakers. It appears to be a late-19th century translation of a German original, most likely chosen for copyright reasons.

We would probably not use this kind of inversion today; I certainly wouldn't unless I was trying to sound very authoritative by speaking like someone from a hundred years ago. (And honestly, that probably wouldn't work; my audience would likely just find it pretentious.)

This source (pick up from section 5.3.3) seems to confirm my instinct that this particular inversion would not have been remarkable for the period of the text.

In short: I don't think this is a productive form in modern English. It's probably enough that you recognize it, understand it (it's being used here for emphasis and for reasons of prosody), and realize that it helps date the passage which you are reading (which may in turn help you understand where the author is coming from and what concerns might be important to him).


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