"America’s apathy on matters African is one reason such initiatives have slowed of late." What does "apathy on matters African" mean?


This contains an inversion sometimes used in formal speech or writing. The non-inverted version would be:

"America’s apathy on African matters is one reason such initiatives have slowed of late."

African matters = African affairs

It means that America doesn't care what happens in Africa.

  • I knew that inversion can be imposed on verbs, but 'matters' here seems to be a noun. Could the inversion also be fromed? If it is true, can I say 'people American' to refer to 'American people' i. formal context? – Lexinton Ave Mar 13 at 12:13
  • in formal context – Lexinton Ave Mar 13 at 12:14
  • 1
    No; it works in very few cases. Matters is one of them, possibly because that word itself is a little antiquated. It's an antique style, not really down to formality. – Andrew Leach Mar 13 at 12:21
  • Got it. But where can I find a more complete list of words that can be used in such rare cases? – Lexinton Ave Mar 13 at 14:08

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