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Hi; new user here.

I found this sentence on the internet and the em dash and the conjunction 'that' both confuse me:

'I must relate that I've never met a person whose intellect I respected or whose philosophical learning was more than amateur -- that I never knew such a person to take Nietzsche seriously.'

Is it grammatically correct?

Thanks.
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Comments  
Hi, brax, thanks for joining us. Welcome to English Forums.

I was never quite sure of the rules for the dash, but in my opinion the sentence is okay. The form is:
"I would like to say that you're beautiful and alluring -- that you're dazzling."

Best regards, - A. Emotion: smile
Thanks for replying. Emotion: smile

The difference that makes the sentence I quoted harder for me to understand is that the part after the em dash gives the sentence a completely different meaning.

'A person' in the first phrase refers to 'such a person' from the second one, and not to Nietzsche, right?

Again, thanks for responding. 
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Hi,

I found this sentence on the internet and the em dash and the conjunction 'that' both confuse me:

'I must relate that I've never met a person whose intellect I respected or whose philosophical learning was more than amateur -- that I never knew such a person to take Nietzsche seriously.'

I'd like to comment that I find this sentence unsatisfactory.

I wonder why the writer didn't say it like this.

'I must relate that I've never met a person whose intellect I respected or whose philosophical learning was more than amateur, and that I never knew such a person to take Nietzsche seriously.'

Or like this, if the purpose is to add emphasis,

'I must relate that I've never met a person whose intellect I respected or whose philosophical learning was more than amateur. In particular, I never knew such a person to take Nietzsche seriously.'

I think that sometimes such dashes are just a careless way of writing.

Actually, I also have some trouble understanding the underlying meaning, no matter how it is

written. The writer seems to be saying this.

I never met a person like this. I never knew a person like this to do a certain thing.

The logic of this seems a bit shaky to me. How can you say, in effect, 'I never knew a person I never met to do a certain thing?'

(I wonder if now you are going to tell me that this sentence was written by someone famous?

ha-ha)

Best wishes, Clive
'I must relate that I've never met a person whose intellect I respected or whose philosophical learning was more than amateur -- that I never knew such a person to take Nietzsche seriously.'

Hmmm, you ask me about the dash and the "that" conjunction, and whether the grammar is correct - now you're gonna hit me with symantics? Is that nice?

'A person' in the first phrase refers to 'such a person' from the second one, and not to Nietzsche, right?

"A person" and "such a person" refer indirectly to "any one among all the people I have met," not to Nietzche.
I indirectly make three disparaging statments about all the people I have met:
(1) none has an intellect which I respect
(2) none has a philosophical learning beyond amateur
(3) none has been known by me to take Nietzche seriously
"Such a person" means "such a person as I have met."

You have not yet asked me to rewrite the sentence, right?? Emotion: rolleyes

Best regards, - A.
Hello,

In the first part personA is talking about Nietzche

dash and "that"

In this part author talks about personA.

This is very common usage in the books." That " is a kind of tailing of writer's feelings ideas,it is like writer/author starts talking from 3rd mouth in the book.

I hope this may help.
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sunsail In the first part personA is talking about Nietzsche
You know, you may have a point there. I wonder if prior context would reveal the first part to be a Nietzsche quote and the second part to be a humorous retort?
CJ has a Nietzsche quote on his avatar. I wonder if they ever met? Well, I guess not. He died a year before I was born.
I also don't find the sentence satisfactory, but I think (although I could be way off base) that the author meant "[any person I've ever met who falls into the category of being intellectual and having more than an amateur understanding] didn't take Nietzsche seriously."

What he wrote was that he never met anyone who fell into that category at all. It would take a pretty conceited person to think he'd never met such a person, wouldn't it?
Grammar Geek It would take a pretty conceited person to think he'd never met such a person, wouldn't it?
That's why I thought the words might be Nietzsche's. Emotion: rolleyes

Edit. Naw, Google only shows us.

But that makes sense.
N. says all the people he's ever met are stupid.
Somebody retorts, "That opinion shouldn't bother them, because stupid people don't take him seriously anyway."
I think it's cute.
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