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There are four commas in the following sentence. Could you please review if they used commas correctly? Why do they need the third and fourth commas? What would happen otherwise? If you can explain with some examples, it would be reall helpful.

"Without that acknowledgment, hermeneutic thematization could not offer, and thereby would prevent , the practitioner from recognizing , any reconfiguring of his or her assumptions."

Source- I got this line from a book on art theory.

Thanks for your time and help. Highly appreciated.

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  • Could you check your source again? The comma after prevent is quite curious. – KarlG Jan 31 '18 at 23:16
  • @KarlG yes, it's correct. you can copy and paste the whole line on google. you will find the source. I am thinking that without comma after prevent , could not offer won't read its object correctly. Maybe I am wrong :) – krishe kesi Jan 31 '18 at 23:48
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Without that acknowledgment, hermeneutic thematization could not offer, and thereby would prevent, the practitioner from recognizing, any reconfiguring of his or her assumptions.

This is a sentence which has escaped the author's control and the watchful eye of a decent editor. It looks like the author intended a compound verb in parallel structure, offer and would prevent, only to discover after slapping down a comma that these two verbs do not have the same object, leaving the practitioner from recognizing as utter nonsense flapping in the breeze. The reconfiguring is, in fact, the direct object of both offer and the gerund-participle recognizing.

Thus the following is the case:

Hermeneutic thematization could not offer any reconfiguring of assumptions.

Hermeneutic thematization would thereby prevent the practitioner from recognizing any reconfiguration of assumptions.

The comma after prevent inexplicably separates it from its predicate.

At the very least the sentence should be punctuated:

Without that acknowledgment, hermeneutic thematization could not offer, and thereby would prevent the practitioner from recognizing, any reconfiguring of his or her assumptions.

Better would be:

Without that acknowledgment, hermeneutic thematization could not offer — and thereby would prevent the practitioner from recognizing — any reconfiguring of his or her assumptions.

  • may I know what why we would need last comma? or if we could remove the last comma. Thanks again. – krishe kesi Feb 1 '18 at 20:22

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