Even with reading Meaning of “as it was” in context I am not sure I understand this in the following passage:

Myers had as it were to re-create his personality before he became the wary critic of evidence, the skillful handler of hypothesis, the learned neurologist and omnivorous reader of biological and cosmological matter, with whom in later years we were acquainted.

Is this to only specify that Myers indeed re-created what he did or a is there a more complicated thing to it?

2 Answers 2


Myers had to undergo a process that resembled re-creating his personality. The sense is 'it's impossible to describe exactly what he did, but this is the nearest I (the writer) can come to it'.


"As it were" in this case is synonymous with the phrase "in a manner of speaking", or "so to speak"

This implies that Myer's in a manner of speaking had to re-create himself to become the person you were later acquainted with.

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    Comparable to using scare quotes. "Myers had to 're-create his personality' before ...." Nowadays, the organic imagery would probably be considered such a familiar device that the scare quotes would be dropped. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 14:01

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