0

I don't quite understand this part

"Poitras, who profiled another celebrated data warrior, Edward Snowden, in Citizenfour, filmed with Assange from 2010-2012"

The commas are confusing. I know that "Edward" links to the celebrated data warrior but I am confused with which part "in Citizenfour" links to and the part after it. Please give a thorough explanation of the entire sentence which tells the connections between different parts. Thanks a lot.

  • You have nested parenthetical expressions: the inner pair of commas enclose "Edward Snowden" (related to "celebrated data warrior"), and the outer pair enclose "who profiled ... in Citizenfour" (related to "Poitras"). – Lawrence Aug 2 '16 at 5:05
  • Is this the caption for a photograph or film clip? If so, the photo provides extra context to the sentence, which otherwise would need to carry itself better. As a photo caption, it's fine: there is an assumed "This is..." at the start. – Max Williams Aug 2 '16 at 7:35
2

This is the basic sentence:

Poitras filmed with Assange from 2010-2012

The rest of the stuff is parenthetical:

Poitras (who profiled another celebrated data warrior (Edward Snowden)(in Citizenfour)) filmed with Assange from 2010-2012

Pairs of commas are often used to mark out parenthetical elements.

I don't think it's a great sentence. This is my attempt to improve it:

Poitras, who would go on to profile another data warrior, Edward Snowden, later in Citizenfour, filmed with Assange from 2010-2012.

  • I would parse it as Poitras (who profiled another celebrated data warrior (Edward Snowden) in Citizenfour) filmed with Assange from 2010-2012. The comma after Edward Snowden just marks the end of the apposition. in citizenfour is just an integral part of the relative sentence, not another parenthetical expression. (That is just an interpretation; the commas are compatible with either parsing.) – Peter - Reinstate Monica Aug 2 '16 at 12:09
  • @PeterA.Schneider, yes, actually now that you have pointed it out, I think your version is probably what the writer intended. – dangph Aug 2 '16 at 12:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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