1

Source, penultimate para: p 2 of 2, 'Against YA', by Ruth Graham, slate.com

1. I do not begrudge young adults themselves their renaissance of fiction.

begrudge [with two objects] = D1. Envy (someone) the possession or enjoyment of (something)

I`m guessing D1 (D for Definition) above as the right one, but the grammar for begrudge still confuses and shocks me. ODO's Example Sentnces also follow this strange construct. Would someone please elucidate and explain? I tried to replace begrudge with its synonym 'envy', then 1 becomes:

2. I don't envy young adults themselves their renaissance of fiction.

Yet 2 is ungrammatical, because it involves 3 objects and no prepositions? Instead, you must write:

3. I don't envy young adults themselves [FOR] their renaissance of fiction.

4. I don't envy young adults' themselves their renaissance of fiction.

However, now 3 and 4 differ from 1, a contradiction, so what happened?

  • Where did you get this quote? themselves is odd. It would not be a third object, but would stand in apposition to "adults". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 22 '15 at 3:42
  • @TRomano I think so too. Sorry for forgetting the source. Better now? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jan 22 '15 at 3:47
  • 1
    Where are the three objects? The objects are (1) young adults themselves, and (2) their renaissance of fiction. – user6951 Jan 22 '15 at 3:47
  • This is the first time I've ever seen themselves, himself, herself with begrudge. It makes little sense to me. I want to understand it as the author does begrudge somebody something, but not the young adults. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 22 '15 at 3:50
  • @δοῦλος I may have erred, so please feel free to edit my OP – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jan 22 '15 at 4:03
2

We saw the children themselves.

Saw has one object: the children themselves.

I do not begrudge young adults themselves their renaissance of fiction.

Begrudge has two objects: (1) young adults themselves, (2) their renaissance of fiction.

I just do not get what is confusing here.

I am not big on sticking in "synonyms" into sentences. And I do not think that is what the ODO definition means. Although envy itself can take two objects.

I don't envy the young adults themselves their renaissance of fiction.

Envy has two objects: (1) young adults themselves, (2) their renaissance of fiction.

  • Don't you find the use of "themselves" there passing strange? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 22 '15 at 13:15

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.