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Can someone please break down that sentence of Alan Moore for me? I can understand that it somehow means that who has the same function as what or something like that but I don't understand how that structure means that, I would also appreciate other examples of such structure. I also understand something like I'm but a very brilliant guy to mean that I am nothing but a brilliant guy.

This is from the movie V for vendetta where Evey asks V(it's a name of a man who always wears a mask) about who he is when they first meet.

Evey: Who are you? V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.

  • There isn't a sentence there. Could you actually quote the sentence, please? – Andrew Leach May 26 '18 at 19:19
  • some context would also be very helpful. – Hellion May 26 '18 at 19:32
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It is just a cryptic/clever/verbose way of saying that "who are you" just means "what are you" ("who" is just another word for / has the same function as "what"). To which he responds that he is just a man in mask.

Form follows function is a term from 20th century modernist architecture, and has influenced many aspects of modern design.

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These people almost have it.

What he's really saying, and this can apply to anything, is that WHAT needs to be determined before a WHO.

He's saying WHO follows WHAT, so you need to know the WHAT before the WHO.

It's kind of like when people try to give characteristics to a god. You can't do that.. until you know WHAT it is.. because the WHAT has to come first.

The V dude wants to be known as the WHAT, which comes FIRST before the WHO. He wants to not apply the WHO and only apply what SHOULD come first only - the WHAT.

Get it? :)

  • I haven’t seen V for Vendetta, but that is certainly not how I would interpret the sentence. In form follows function, the point is not sequentiality, but relative importance. V here is saying that who he is secondary to what he is – it’s less important than it and gives way to it. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 9 at 17:17
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It means Who a person doesnot matter. What matters is what he/she does. What function that person performs. "What we do counts and who we are follows from that

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