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There was the following passage in New York Time’s article dealing with the issue of alleged domestic violence cases of U.S. Soccer team goalie, Hope Solo, and its outcomes under the title, “Hope Solo is a hero on the field. Repeat, on the field.”

“By now, though, it’s not a stretch to think that U.S. Soccer, and maybe even her teammates, can’t handle Hope Solo the person anymore and have resorted to focusing on her as merely a goalkeeper.”

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/06/13/should-hope-solos-actions-keep-her-off-the-field?

Is “handle somebody the person” a common set phrase? Can I say "I cannot handle my son the person any more"? Don’t we need a preposition such as “in," or "by," or "as a” before “person”?

What does “the person” function grammatically in this configuration?

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    'Handle' is not part of the construction. Compare We know Benedict Cumberbatch the actor, but do we know Benedict Cumberbatch the person? which may be paraphrased We know Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor, but do we know Benedict Cumberbatch as a real person? Jun 15, 2015 at 21:29
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    The person is used in contrast to a goalkeeper, ( a famous athlete) . Hope Solo as a private individual vs Hope Solo as a public figure. “By now, though, it’s not a stretch to think that U.S. Soccer, and maybe even her teammates, can’t handle Hope Solo the person anymore and have resorted to focusing on her as merely a goalkeeper..
    – user66974
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:34
  • So my question is whether “as” needed before ‘a / the person, or it’s redundant. Jun 15, 2015 at 23:41
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    As is not needed before person. The second noun is in apposition. But the meaning would be the same if you did add 'as,' 'inasmuchas,' 'qua,' 'considered as.'
    – Hugh
    Jun 16, 2015 at 0:09

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When the U.S. Soccer organization and her team mates, say that they can’t “handle” the personage of Hope Solo anymore, they are employing an idiomatic term “handle” (rather than a set phrase) to mean that they can’t “deal with,” “be concerned with,” or can no longer “tolerate” or "bear" the persona of Hope Solo (while they are still capable of appreciating her athletic performance as a soccer goalkeeper). (1) “the person” represents Hope, as a single private person. (2) no preposition is needed before “the person." (3) Yes, "the person" is an apposition of Hope Solo.

handle v.tr.: 3. to deal with or have responsibility for; conduct; “handles matters of corporate law”; 4. to cope with or dispose of; “handles problems efficiently”; see, TFD

deal with vb (tr, adverb): 1. to take action on: to deal with each problem in turn.

deal with phrasal verb: 1. To be occupied or concerned with: to consider, take up, treat. Idiom: have to do with. see, TFD

This usage of “handle” is not confined to “persons” only, but can also be used with events or subject matter, i.e., “I can’t handle my science class, anymore.”

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    And let's not forget the classic, "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" youtube.com/watch?v=9FnO3igOkOk Jun 15, 2015 at 22:03
  • I think I know what “handle” here means well. My question is whether (1) “the person” represents “Hope, as the goalie” or “Hope, as a single private person,” and (2) whether a preposition is needed or not before “(the) person.” I don’t have any problem with “I cannot handle my science class anymore,” but I’m not very clear with grammatical nuance of Hope’s teammates cannot handle “Hope Solo the person.” Is “the person” an apposition of Hope Solo that defines who she is? Jun 15, 2015 at 23:30

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