Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

An illness to which man is prone to any age, claimed the one who was one after the other abbot, officer, scholar, writer, banker, con artist, magician, infantryman, spy, diplomat, but always claiming his Venetian origins.

I think it equals 'among', am I correct?

share|improve this question
1  
This is giving an interesting twist to merely saying that he claims to be all of these. At various times he has claimed to be this and that. –  Kris Feb 6 '12 at 7:42
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

One after the other or one after another means taking each one individually following a sequential order. In this case the author provides a a list of occupations: first he was abbot, then officer, then scholar, and so forth.

Among does not imply any order, just one in a grouping, and so is not equivalent here. One could write

He was, among other things, an abbot, an officer, a scholar, a writer, a banker, a con artist, a magician, an infantryman, a spy, and a diplomat.

and be factually correct but less informative. By this phrasing he could have been a magician first, then later a banker, and then an abbot, and so on.

share|improve this answer
    
Rare but elegant usage of this phrase! Also big thanks for your clearly comparison of the usage here! –  yangchenyun Feb 6 '12 at 15:03
add comment

"One after the other" as used here (apparently in some advertising copy) means serially, "In series, one after the other, as opposed to in parallel".

That is, the quotation says that Casanova was in turn an abbot, an officer, a scholar, a writer, a banker, a con artist, a magician, an infantryman, a spy, a diplomat; that is to say, he was an abbot, then an officer, then a scholar, and so forth.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Absolutely , "Among" doesn´t do justice to express the sequel order in which all the individualities take place " one after the other "

share|improve this answer
add comment

No. Among is not the intended meaning.

Saying he is among followed by a list could mean he is one or more of the descriptions in the list, not necessarily all.

In fact, the implication in this sentence is: all of them. 'Was one after the other' is giving an interesting twist to merely saying that he has claimed to be all of these.

Neither is there any significance to the order in the list. 'Was one after the other' merely implies that at various points of time, he has claimed to be this and claimed to be that.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.