# In Relation To?

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It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target at which all violin concertos are aiming, and in relation to which one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.

About 'in relation to which' is it:
(1) concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B in relation to the targetin relation to which a concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B
(i.e. 'in relation to the target' modifies '(got) closer')

or
(2) one could say in relation to the targetin relation to which one could say...
(i.e. 'in relation to the target' modifies '(could) say')
?
1 2 3
which refers to a target (at which all violin concertos are aiming)
Consider:
She is the girl.+The girl said it was wrong. →She is the girl who said it was wrong.
When a relative pronoun is used, basically two sentences are combined. Now I wonder if the sentence in question is:
It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target in relation to the target.

→It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target in relation to which one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.

or

It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target in relation to the target that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.

→It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target in relation to which one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.

In other words, I'm thinking about the origin of the sentence in question.
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This is not algebra. SAY/SPELL in words what do you mean by that + sign.
>It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target at which all violin concertos are aiming, and in relation to which one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.
The rough meaning is that:

It is impossible or pointless to define a target for interpretatation that would satisfy both conditions:
- to be valid/true for all violin concertos
- to be of such a nature that would allow assessing if a given concerto is better than another concerto, according to that target, or according to being closer to that target
My first impression (i.e. without reading the other replies) is:

1. It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify:

a) a target at which all violin concertos are aiming

b) a target in relation to which one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.

MrP
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I'm glad to see MrP agrees in effect with my last post
I think I understand what you're asking, Taka, but the closest I can get to it at the moment is this:

Could one say that concerto A got nearer to a target than concerto B? It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify such a target.

In fact, I don't personally think that the original sentence is quite right.

It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target in relation to which one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.

This means that you're saying that A got nearer to the target than B, in relation to the target. But if A got nearer to the target than B, then obviously it's in relation to the target. In my view, "in relation to which" is not really correct. It should be something like:

It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target such that one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.
Mr WordyThis means that you're saying that A got nearer to the target than B, in relation to the target. But if A got nearer to the target than B, then obviously it's in relation to the target.

That's exactly what I've been puzzled by, Mr Wordy!
So even though it's kind of redundant, if anything, 'in relation to the target' is within the scope of the that-clause. Is that how you see it?
Mr WordyIt would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target such that one could say that concerto A got nearer to the target than concerto B.
Or maybe this one, right?
It would be hard if not actually senseless to specify a target in relation to which one could say that concerto A was better than concerto B.
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