Since elementary school, I've known definition 1 (the most common) of such as = for example. Yet 2 confuses me, so what's an intuitive derivation or etymology behind it?

2. such as = Of a kind that; like [I crossed this out because how can like substitute for such as below?]

I did try OED, but my limited English bars me from understanding its many entries with complicated linguistic terms. The following's an example, but I ask NOT only about legal contexts:

I see no rational ground for excluding from conduct capable of giving rise to criminal liability, conduct which consists of failing to take measures that lie within one's power to counteract a danger that one has oneself created, if at the time of such conduct one's state of mind is such as constitutes a necessary ingredient of the offence."

  • 1
    I've asked you this before, and I'll ask here again: please stop asking for etymologies when you want mnemonics. I don't know if you do it because you feel like straight up asking for mnemonics without cover words like etymology will get your questions closed as off topic, or if you truly believe the current meaning of a word has some obligation to relate to its origin, but it doesn't matter: both are fallacies. The latter is the etymological fallacy, which you've been pointed at numerous times, and the former is silly because pure questions of etymology will be question closed as GR. – Dan Bron Nov 30 '14 at 14:07
  • With that out of the way (and I hope it's the last time I have to ask), here's a way to relate the of a kind sense to your example sense. An example is a member of a category, when you produce an example, you are hoping to use it to illustrate something larger: you are not focusing on the specific example itself, but the kind of thing it is. In other words, an example, is, literally, of a kind, and it is the kind, not the example, you're concerned with. Dig? "If the state of mind is of the type which" == "If the state of mind is an example of". – Dan Bron Nov 30 '14 at 14:16
  • @DanBron Thank you for your comments. Sorry if my question offended you. I forgot to write in this OP that I shall heed the Etymological Fallacy, but I'm interested in not only mnemonics, but also intuitive interpretations or rationalisations that may explain a word's trajectory? Please tell me what you think of this? What are the aptest words that express my objectives? – NNOX Apps Feb 26 '15 at 5:41
  • I've seen other questions you've asked where you have inserted the phrase "I heed the etymological fallacy, but...", and frankly I've found it formulaic (as in pro forma), unconvincing, and insincere. Mentioning that you're aware of the fallacy is not some secret password which lets you through the gate and into the paradisical garden where then you can go ahead and commit it! Words mean what they mean and those meanings are recorded in dictionaries. You'll have to use a dictionary to supplement your understanding until you've had sufficient exposure (practice!) to do away with it. – Dan Bron Feb 26 '15 at 12:11

This is a different "such as" and it is spoken differently. Punctuation that reflects how this one is spoken: "such, as...".

As Dan Bron says, "of the type which". Or "of a kind|sort that..."

There, "as" is like "that".

The fracture of the bone was such, as should be attended to immediately.

The fracture of the bone was of a sort that should be attended to immediately.

P.S. In response to the comment:

The vertical bar | is a symbol for 'or' indicating possible variants.

The comma indicates the natural syntactic pause that would occur here because "such" is a predicate nominative|nominal in this sentence and is therefore an element of the independent|matrix clause ; "as" introduces a dependent clause that modifies 'such'.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you for your answer. Would you please clarify your answer's involvement of 'punctuation'? You split such as with a comma in between, and you also inserted a vertical line in "of a kind|sort that..." What do you mean by these? – NNOX Apps Feb 15 '15 at 3:21
  • See the P.S. Also, please explain why you request that the clarification be appended to the answer? – TRomano Feb 15 '15 at 12:23
  • Thanks. I happily tried to do so on my profile: Since comments are less readable, please write (edits to) responses only in the Answer, Does this help? – NNOX Apps Feb 26 '15 at 0:30
  • Sorry to bother you again. 1. Am I right that your vertical bar | functions as the slash's possible meaning of 'or'? 2. Would you please clarify which is there in There, "as" is like "that" ? – NNOX Apps Feb 26 '15 at 5:49
  • I really don't understand your second question. – TRomano Feb 26 '15 at 12:45

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