Aug 24, 11
People who enjoy being confused and lost
Read in August, 2009
"And so while Hamilton and his followers could claim that the compromise permitted the core features of his financial plan to win approval, which in turn meant the institutionalization of fiscal reforms with centralizing implications that would prove very difficult to dislodge, the permanent residence of the capital on the Potomac institutionalized political values designed to carry the nation in a fundamentally different direction."
This is a sentence found on page 80 of Joseph J. Ellis's Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.
Personally, I don't understand this sentence at all when I read it once, so lets dissect this sentence, shall we?
"And so while Hamilton and his followers could claim that the compromise permitted the core features of his financial plan to win approval..."
-The main part of this sente... I mean phrase is that "the compromise permitted the core features of [Hamilton's] financial plan to win approval." Who in the world of academia talks like this? Anyway, this phrase pretty much boils down to, "...the compromise satisfied the main parts of Hamilton's financial plan."
"...which in turn meant the institutionalization of fiscal reforms with centralizing implications that would prove very difficult to dislodge..."
-Okay. This is a little more difficult. So, if Hamilton approves this "compromise" that satisfies the main parts of his financial plan, it would result in "the institutionalization of fiscal reforms", which I take to mean the government will have more financial responsibilities. This reform will have "centralizing implications that would prove very difficult to dislodge," which I'm guessing is a fancy way for saying that this will make the central government more powerful, which will be difficult to change in the future.
"...the permanent residence of the capital on the Potomac institutionalized political values designed to carry the nation in a fundamentally different direction."
-Well, after reading this phrase 5 times over, I think it means that because the capital is permanently in Potomac, the nation is actually heading in the opposite direction that Hamilton's plan is.
So after 10 minutes of dissection, this sentence is saying that "While the compromise potentially satisfied the core of Hamilton's financial plan, which would place more financial responsibilities on the government that would be difficult to repeal in the future, the fact that the capital was permanently in Potomac suggested that the nation was heading in a different direction."
Wow. Even after simplifying the sentence and reducing the word count from 64 to 48 and the syllable count from 125 to 88, that is still one beast of a sentence.
Ellis's excessive, pretentious use of multi-syllabic words shows that Ellis is married to his Thesaurus. No one, not even scholars, talks like Ellis nor can understand Ellis. One may be able to get a general sense of what is going on, but I'm sure there are better, less painful ways to learn of these stories.
After doing this sentence dissection for a deceptively short, grueling, uneventful, draining, brain-mushing, incredibly taxing 248 pages, I have come away with a sure fire way to make me feel like my IQ is in the negative range... and with a significantly higher vocabulary.
Good luck, fellow readers.