Hi all. I ran into this book
The Dog it Was That Died
Does the title literally mean: "that one, which has died, was the dog"?
If this is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of".

(thank you from Italy)
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Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog it Was That Died Does the title literally mean: "that ... is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It's a poetic inversion and is, in fact and indeed, from a poem:

http://www.mad-dog.com/html/elegy.html
" ... But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died."
It's also a Stoppard play.
The phrase is used to indicate a situation where the result is the opposite of what was expected.
So, yes, you CAN use it but in the example you give it sounds clumsy and wrong.

John Dean
Oxford
Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog ... that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It's a poetic inversion and is, in fact and indeed, from a poem: http://www.mad-dog.com/html/elegy.html " ... But soon a wonder ... what was expected. So, yes, you CAN use it but in the example you give it sounds clumsy and wrong.

Excellent
Instead of 'YOU it was that I was speaking of' you might say 'Of YOU it was that I was speaking', or (better) 'YOU it was of whom I was speaking'. Both are grammatically correct. If you preserve the original tense - 'YOU it was of whom I spoke' - it sounds fine.

(BTW, you have made 'You' the object of the sentence. In the original, the dog is the subject. 'The English it is who feel the need to vote for a toff from time to time.' Here the English are the subjects.)

Peter (UK and *** off :-)
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Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog it Was That Died Does the title literally mean: "that ... is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

I don't understand the first two answers you got from other people.

Yes, to your first question, but wrt your second question (which has no question mark), if you turn your attention to the dog and say that sentence to him, as an additional sentence, you can, but are you saying that it is the same as the original sentence? You seem to be.

Is the original sentence addressed to the dog? I don't think so. For on thing, the dog is dead and he's not listening. For another thing, the person would have to be speaking in the third-person even though he's addressing the dog and talking about it, which would normally be done in the second person, as is the sentence you suggest.
Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
Hi all. I ran into this bookhttp://tiny.cc/kzuc0 The Dog it Was That Died Does the title literally mean: "that one, ... is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It could either mean the dog, in specific, that died, or a reference to the fact that the dog died.
Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog it Was That Died Does the title literally mean: "that one, ... is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It could either mean the dog, in specific, that died, or a reference to the fact that the dog died.
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Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog it Was That Died Does the title literally mean: "that one, ... is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It could either mean the dog, in specific, that died, or a reference to the fact that the dog died.
Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog it Was That Died Does the title literally mean: "that one, ... is the right meaning, may I say "YOU it was that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It could either mean the dog, in specific, that died, or a reference to the fact that the dog died.
Hi all. I ran into this book The Dog it ... that I was speaking of". (thank you from Italy)

It could either mean the dog, in specific, that died, or a reference to the fact that the dog died.

The book title (which has been used more than once) clearly evokes Oliver Goldsmith's poem "An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog", which ends as follows:
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.
It means that the dog died, and, not, as everyone had expected, the man that had been bitten.

athel
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