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Hello, everyone!

For one difficult sentence in following paragraph I’m wondering about its sentence structure;
Compounding the difficulty, now more than ever, is what ergonomists call information overload

How do you analysize the normal sentence of above before inversion or clefting, while I am assuming it as follows?;

1. before reversed pseudo clefting with ‘what’; “Ergonomists call compounding the difficulty information overload.” (S+V+O+C, ‘compounding’ as a gerund),
or
2. before inversion; “What they call information overload is compounding the difficulty.” (‘compounding’ as a present participle)

“Clarity is often a difficult thing for a leader to obtain. Concerns of the present tend to seem larger than potentially greater concerns that lie farther away. Some decisions by their nature present great complexity, whose many variables must come together a certain way for the leader to succeed. Compounding the difficulty, now more than ever, is what ergonomists call information overload, where a leader is overrun with inputs ― via e-mails, meetings, and phone calls ― that only distract and confuse her thinking. Alternatively, the leader’s information might be only fragmentary, which might cause her to fill in the gaps with assumptions ― sometimes without recognizing them as such. And the merits of a leader’s most important decisions, by their nature, typically are not clear-cut. Instead those decisions involve a process of assigning weights to competing interests, and then determining, based upon some criterion, which one predominates. The result is one of judgment, of shades of gray; like saying that Beethoven is a better composer than Brahms.”

* source;

https://books.google.co.kr/books?id=95yZDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT16&lpg=PT16&dq=%22Compounding+the+difficulty,+now+more+than+ever,+is+what+ergonomists%22&source=bl&ots=93Z9SdtNgW&sig=ACfU3U1IFNdL4ngzH11G3CYs668OvixbSQ&hl=ko&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjYxJqv7KnuAhXM7GEKHXV8AccQ6AEwCXoECAgQAg#v=onepage&q=%22Compounding%20the%20difficulty%2C%20now%20more%20than%20ever%2C%20is%20what%20ergonomists%22&f=false


Would wait for your various clarifications,

Thanks and best RGDS,

+1

This is a bit tricky. I think you have got the wrong end of the stick. In particular, “Ergonomists call compounding the difficulty information overload” has got you off track.


Information overload, as ergonomists call it, is compounding the difficulty (now more than ever). (is making the difficulty worse)
~
Information overload, which it what ergonomists call it, is compounding the difficulty.
~
What ergonomists call information overload | is compounding the difficulty.
~
Compounding the difficulty (now more than ever) is what ergonomists call information overload.


is compounding is the verb phrase. It's the present continuous tense of the verb "to compound".

This is not a matter of a linking verb (is) connected to a subject complement in the form of a gerund clause (compounding the difficulty).


Thus, to illustrate with a simpler case, the two structures below are not equivalent.

a) Introspection | is contributing immensely to the study of consciousness.
b) Introspection | is | examining your own thoughts and feelings.

a) has the verb phrase 'is contributing'; it does not have the linking verb 'is'.
b) has the linking verb 'is'; it does not have the verb phrase 'is examining'.

a) is not a definition of 'introspection'; b) is.

Try reading a) as a definition of 'introspection' and reading b) as something that 'introspection' is doing, and you may see the difference more clearly.

The original sentence should be read as an inversion of the structure in a), not the structure in b).

CJ

Comments  
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
CalifJimThe original sentence should be read as an inversion of the structure in a), not the structure in b).

Hi, CJ, thank you million times for your kind full explanation.

Then, am I right to understand you analyze as follows?;

'What ergonomists call information overload | is compounding the difficulty.' has been inverted into 'Compounding the difficulty is what ergonomists call information overload.' ('compounding' as a part of the verb phrase has been fronted to the beginning of the sentence)


Best RGDS,

deepcosmosThen, am I right to understand you analyze as follows? ... ('compounding' as a part of the verb phrase has been fronted to the beginning of the sentence)

Exactly. Emotion: yes

Frightening the children are what we call ghosts.

CJ

CalifJimFrightening the children are what we call ghosts.

CJ, thanks milion times!!!

Sorry to bother you, but would you kindly spare time to reply to my previous following inquiry?;

https://www.englishforums.com/English/ToWhichVsWhere/bphpnw/post.htm

Best RGDS,

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