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Although this book is not easy to read, it is far from being to be labelled as an example of pseudointellectual postmodern rhetoric.

Do you find this sentence OK? Particularly I am not sure about the phrase "it is far from being to be labelled". The sentence like "he is far from being stupid" is clear but is it permitted to use the infinitive in this case?

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    Remove the extraneous "to be" and it should be OK. May 29, 2016 at 16:45
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    I think the construction you're groping for here would have to be expressed as X is far from being capable of being labeled as Y. Which to be honest is so convoluted (both semantically and syntactically) that I suggest it would be better to forget about the (hypothetical) "labeling" completely - just say the book is far from being [whatever it definitely isn't]. May 29, 2016 at 17:09
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    ...bear in mind that if you really meant to say that what the book is far from is being labeled as something, that might simply be because it hasn't been given enough critical attention to have yet been labeled as anything at all. May 29, 2016 at 17:11
  • "Far from being labelled" is far from making sense. +1 to FumbleFingers.
    – TimR
    May 29, 2016 at 18:29
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    You could say "It may be difficult, but it is a far cry from pseudointellectual postmodern rhetoric".
    – TimR
    May 29, 2016 at 18:32

1 Answer 1

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[Something] is to be [past participle of a verb]

This is a grammatically correct sentence.

You can see this idiom in the well-know expression:

He is a force to be reckoned with.

In your example, the positive form might help you:

This book is to be labelled as an example of pseudointellectual postmodern rhetoric.

Which would mean "This book should be labelled as [...]".

In a more general sense, to say that Something is to be [past participle of a verb], for example This person is to be blamed for his actions means that people, in general, should blame him for his actions.

In your case

Basically:

Even though this book is not easy to read, it shouldn't, in any way, be labelled as an example of pseudointellectual postmodern rhetoric.

Though, in this case, I find your sentence to be very clumsy and would find a sentence with should, along the lines of the one I presented, more appropriate and better-sounding.

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    To me the original sentence (unlike all the positive ones you mention and the negative one with should) is decidedly ungrammatical.
    – DRF
    May 30, 2016 at 18:07

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