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I found the line, ‘Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his while presumed innocent will get bail,’ in the following paragraph of New York Times article (May 17), titled ‘Hotel Keycard of I.M.F. Chief May Tell a Tale.’

Does the ending line mean that the odds are low for Strauss-Kahn, who took time in claiming his innocent to get bail? I’m not clear with the structure of this section. Is ‘take one’s while+objective noun composition’ natural English expression? I mean don’t you need a preposition between while and presumed innocent?

“The director Roman Polanski strolled the red carpet, smiling for the cameras, apparently unworried that the French authorities would notice that he was a fugitive from justice in Los Angeles, where he had drugged, raped a 13-year-old girl. The parallel was striking, a prosecutor said Monday. Mr. Polanski, who took his version of the perp walk as a guilty man, lowered the odds that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his while presumed innocent, will get bail in New York any time soon.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, the title and sentence fragment you use do sound wrong.

But in context, the interpretation is really that 'his' is an elision of 'his perpwalk'. So with that as context you should read (and it is understandable as:

[something] lowered the odds that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his [perpwalk], while presumed innocent, will get bail

It doesn't sound great anyway, but that at least makes sense (and in context a native English reader would realize that 'his' refers to 'his perp walk'.

I feel like it is more coherent to have said either:

[something] lowered the odds that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, while presumed innocent, will get bail


[something] lowered the odds that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his [perpwalk], will get bail

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@Phenry/Mitch.Many thanks. Yes, by placing ‘perp walk’ after ‘his,’ I was able to understand what it means. I took it wrongly for ‘Strauss-Kahn took a while in presuming innocent,’ which didn’t make sense to me. – Yoichi Oishi May 18 '11 at 23:10

As with many clauses, it is necessary to read the surrounding text to provide the appropriate context.

The comparison here is between Roman Polanski, who was found guilty, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has not been tried yet and is therefore entitled to a presumption of innocence under the law.

We can fill in the implied direct object as follows:

...Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his [perp walk] while presumed innocent...

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