1

For instance: are these sentences equal in meaning and clarity?

This isn't the time to delight oneself with such a luxury.

This isn't the time to delight oneself with a fine luxury as such.

  • 5
    They are not equivalent. – Hot Licks Jan 15 '16 at 22:13
4

The two usages of such are not equal in meaning in the given contexts.

This isn't the time to delight oneself with such a fine luxury.

Here such causes the end to mean "so extreme a fine luxury." (such - see definition 4)

This isn't the time to delight oneself with a fine luxury as such.

Here such causes the end to mean "a fine luxury of this type." (such - see definition 1)

  • 1
    In the second example sentence, "as such" could also be interpreted to have a slightly different meaning of "in that capacity", so the sentence would carry the meaning "this isn't the time to delight oneself with a fine luxury for its own sake" (as opposed to partaking in said luxury, say, for work-related reasons). – Dan Romik Jan 15 '16 at 23:02
  • @Dan Romik: Consider a more "natural" example of the basic A is not a B as such construction (which I think can only be used in the negative). This comment isn't an answer as such means something along the lines of It wouldn't be strictly correct to describe this comment as an "answer", with the strong implication that it's very similar to an "answer". So I interpret OP's (exceptionally weird) text as meaning we should now enjoy something that's almost, but not quite a "fine luxury". – FumbleFingers Jan 15 '16 at 23:16
  • ...unless we postulate that the time to delight oneself with a fine luxury is a familiar concept to both conversants, in which case it's syntactically perfectly normal to me. The current situation is reminiscent of those times in some way, but it's not actually that kind of time. – FumbleFingers Jan 15 '16 at 23:20
  • @FumbleFingers I agree the sentence is not well-constructed and is subject to several different interpretations, none of which makes too much sense. Btw as the link I posted above shows, as such in this sense is not restricted to negative uses only (well, not as such anyway ;-)). – Dan Romik Jan 16 '16 at 1:26
  • @FumbleFingers So the first sentence is clear and the second is confusing to you? That is valuable info. to me. – wolfdawn Jan 16 '16 at 6:54

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