A relative of mine and I have hit a brick wall in trying to agree on the grammaticality and stylistic suitability of one his sentences:
However, it proved incapable of jeopardizing the under-socialism-fortified proletariat and nation.
I cautioned him that very complex compound adjectives are an ungainly 20th-century construct and tried to recast the dubitable phrase as:
... the proletariat and the nation, which were fortified under socialism.
He wouldn't hear of it, because his savvy readers would allegedly find a whiz-clause there too explicative. They're all too well aware of the attribute, yet he insists on including it because of the rest of his readers (:sigh: :rolleyes:). So, I tried with this:
... the proletariat and the nation, both fortified under socialism.
Although whiz-deletion1 doesn't call for a comma, I figured ", both" was necessary to secure the application of the attribute to both nouns, proletariat and nation.
All I got was a scoff in return. It still sounded too lecturing. Then we considered this:
... the proletariat and nation fortified under socialism.
He firmly holds that because the second definite article is omitted from the coordinated nouns, they're more congealed, so the attribute applies to both the proletariat and the nation. Well, I'm not so sure. Your thoughts on that?
Worst of all, after all the hubbub, he said he'd just go with his hyphenated version. But, disregarding the question of style, I'm only 99% sure2 that
adverbial phrase + participle is a grammatically valid construction at all (though the (never hyphenated)
adverb + participle and the (always hyphenated)
noun + participle I'm 100% sure are valid). I̲s̲ i̲t̲?
(And, if it is, are all the hyphens needed? I know they are in established expressions such as dyed-in-the-wool and in constructions such as The state set a 55-mile-an-hour limit.)
1 John Lawler on whiz-deletion:
Interestingly, there is a codicil to Whiz-Deletion that applies when there is only one adjective left after deletion. The adjective has to be moved in front of the noun; it can't appear after it the way phrases can; conversely, phrases can't appear in front of the noun, but must follow it.
Bill is a man who is happy to see you.
Bill is a man happy to see you.
*Bill is a happy to see you man.
2 I've consulted The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, The Oxford Guide To English Usage, Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, and Penguin Dictionary of American English Usage and Style, and found either nothing or an insufficient coverage.