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I've used an expression like, "Forward, the Light Brigade!" a couple times in our endless IT group meetings, although it's always more along the lines of, "Forward, the endless meetings!" and a co-worker complained about my grammar.

I'm comfortable that my grammar (and Tennyson's) is correct, but I don't know exactly why. What kind of expression is, "Forward, the Light Brigade?"

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    Forward!, Up!, Out! and such intransitive preposition phrases are imperatives: exhortations to move in the designated direction from which the verb has been deleted as superfluous and unemphatic. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 21 '16 at 0:14
  • I get what you're saying, but to me, it doesn't map to the quote quite right. I think it's because "the Light Brigade" was a group of people, and the "endless meetings" are not people, but a (dreary) destination. Maybe you could say something like, "Forward, the IT Brigade!", which is a group of people and is more inspiring. :3 – kirk Jan 21 '16 at 2:11
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    If all else fails, you seem to have a pretty good grasp of English. That's when you are free to break rules and morph your speech into what suits you. Turn a phrase! Flip it up and rub it down like Captain Sham! Forward, the Light Brigade! – BleepBloopOverflow Jan 21 '16 at 18:56
  • How many of your co-workers know the poem, do you suppose? – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Jan 21 '16 at 23:00
  • IT people tend to be pretty eclectic. I think most people have at least heard of the poem even if they can't tell that it's being quoted specifically. – DoWhileNot Jan 22 '16 at 16:23
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(Edited after comments:) It is an archaic military command (imperative) that twists the regular sentence, "Send the Light Brigade forward," or "Advance the Light Brigade." (/Edit)

But it seems to me your twist on Tennyson's twist gets the actors backward. "Forward, the endless meetings!" seems to equate the endless meetings with the Light Brigade, instead of your IT group. It is members of your IT group "bravely charging" from meeting to meeting, correct? The endless meetings would be more analogous to the seemingly endless artillery batteries that were firing on the charging Light Brigade that terrible day.

  • If you look at the poem, "Forward the Light Brigade" is in quotes, meaning it was spoken as an order by the commander. – Hot Licks Jan 21 '16 at 0:57
  • @HotLicks Thanks for the refresher, haven't seen the poem's text in a long time. "Forward the Endless Meetings!" makes more sense in that context as an order spoken by an IT leader whose top agenda item is endless meetings. The OP would then be mocking such a leader by using the phrase in meetings. – geneSummons Jan 21 '16 at 1:20
  • I'll take the answer and the comments about the answer as the complete answer, I think. I don't know that I agree that it has to apply specifically to a group of people, especially when being used as a modified quote where the general feeling implied is charging forward into mindless destruction. I think the comments about this have been great! – DoWhileNot Jan 22 '16 at 16:29

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