1

Also, are these sentences grammatically correct? If not, why?

  1. But these days she feels as if she has been sidelined.
  2. But these days she feels as if she has been sidelined, pushed back as far as she will go.
  3. But these days she feels as if she has been sidelined, pushed back as far as she can be.

I'm looking for a word to describe the feelings of 'being left out, ignored' etc. And the setting is an office. Does 'to be sidelined' make sense by itself?

  • Ahem. How are we supposed to know if this is the right word, if you don't elaborate on what you are trying to say? Maybe "sidelined" is a great word, but maybe "marginalized" or "ostracized" or "blackballed" would be much better. You haven't explained what you're trying to convey, so there's no way to tell for sure if you've made the "right" word choice. – J.R. Mar 30 '13 at 11:23
2

Yes, they're grammatical, but without a context, there's little else that can be said about them. Grammatical doesn't necessarily mean good in other ways. For example, I think there's a semantic problem in both of them: sidelined refers to lateral movement, so pushed back as far as... seems illogical to me.

In addition, without a context, what they mean is a mystery, despite the transparency of the sports metaphor.

  • I'm looking for a word to describe the feelings of 'being left out, ignored' etc. And the setting is an office. Does 'to be sidelined' make sense by itself? Also, would 'pushed aside' work better than 'pushed back' then? – Soulz Mar 30 '13 at 6:18
  • @Soulz: There's another semantic problem: being sidelined (pushed to the side) implies that one was once in the center of the action, on the first line team, but is now being ignored or sitting on the bench waiting for someone to need a replacement. "Being ignored" or "being pushed aside" or "being sidelined" all work in the office context, but that additional image of "being pushed back" doesn't seem to add anything useful. Maybe "treated like an office cipher, and she's demoralized and demotivated". – user264 Mar 30 '13 at 6:40
1

sidelined is an sporting metaphor:

Verb

  1. Cause (a player) to be unable to play on a team or in a game: "The ankle injury caused him to be sidelined for two weeks".

  2. Remove from the center of activity or attention; ignored: "Jim felt sidelined after Mary joined the team and took over many of his responsibilities".

So in that context, we can see that your first sentence is grammatical:

But these days she feels as if she has been sidelined.

In this case, we are using the idiomatic form of sidelined (i.e. definition 2, above), and the sentence is roughly equivalent to the following:

But these days she feels as if she is being ignored.

The second and third sentences are also grammatical, but they sound strange because adding the phrase "pushed back" turns the sentence into a mixed metaphor.

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