4
   

pillage at the hands of both the Japanese and the KMT?

 
 
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 09:16 am
Should it be rewritten as "pillage by both the Japanese and the KMT"?

Context:

The implementation of communism in the villages was
based not only on agrarian reform but included the cancellation
of peasants' debts, the reduction of land rents, and the ameliora-tion of the status of women. The soldiers of the Red Army
taught the peasants literacy skills, helped them with the harvests
and the wars on locusts and, after 1931 and the beginning of
hostilities with Japan, afforded them protection from pillage at
harvest time at the hands of both the Japanese and the KMT
forces.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 2,946 • Replies: 41
No top replies

 
View best answer, chosen by oristarA
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 09:38 am
@oristarA,
"at the hand of" / "at the hands of" are idioms

http://idioms.yourdictionary.com/at-the-hand-of

Quote:
What does "at the hand of" mean?
Also, at the hands of. Performed by or at the agency of, as in The slaves suffered greatly at the hands of their new masters. This idiom was first recorded about 1035.


I would say that you should not consider rewriting that portion of the sentence.

I suggest that you purchase a dictionary of idioms.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 12:43 pm
@oristarA,
You could make the substitution without changing the meaning. The original sounds better.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 01:14 pm
"At the hands of" is not only an idiom but also a cliché and can be replaced here with 'by'.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 04:13 pm
@contrex,
There's no greater cliche than that of prescriptivists spouting off about cliches.
0 Replies
 
McTag
  Selected Answer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 03:07 am
@contrex,

Quote:
"At the hands of" is not only an idiom but also a cliché and can be replaced here with 'by'.


I'm with Contrex on this one. "At the hands of" is not a good choice of words here; "by" has the advantage of being both simpler and better, imho.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 11:08 am
@McTag,
Quote:
"by" has the advantage of being both simpler and better, imho.


'simpler' and better - pretty nebulous reasoning, McTag.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 11:37 am
@JTT,

Oh for goodness sake

it's simpler....it does the job in fewer words
it's better...in my humble opinion

QED; no more reasoning required, even non-nebulous.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 11:50 am
@McTag,
Nebulous reasoning doesn't get better with repetition, McTag.

So much for English idioms. Remember kids, never ever use idioms. They always have too many words.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 02:37 pm
@JTT,

"Suffer at the hands of..." you hear.

"Pillage at the hands of..." you don't.

It's not an idiom used like that, it's an awkward and unnecessarily wordy phrase.
Please refrain from trying to correct people unless you have something useful to say.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 08:08 pm
@McTag,
Quote:
"Suffer at the hands of..." you hear.

"Pillage at the hands of..." you don't.

It's not an idiom used like that, it's an awkward and unnecessarily wordy phrase.
Please refrain from trying to correct people unless you have something useful to say.


"Suffer at the hands of..."
About 3,160,000 results

About 63,100 results
"Pillage at the hands of..."

It's not at all surprising that 'suffer' occurs more often than 'pillage'. The chances of someone getting pillaged are much much smaller than the chances of someone suffering.

Quote:
It's not an idiom used like that,


That wasn't your initial beef. And we see that it is used like that.

Quote:
it's an awkward and unnecessarily wordy phrase.


Sometime in your prescriptive background you heard this admonition and it stuck with you, but it's just silly. To follow such a notion means that every idiom is lost to us.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 11:56 pm
@JTT,

Well that was an attempt at being useful, although basically bollocks.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 12:20 am
@McTag,
McTag wrote:


Well that was an attempt at being useful, although basically bollocks.


When he's excited, he'd usually be lost in enthusiasm. Razz
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 07:30 pm
@McTag,
This is always you and Contrex when you find yourself up a stump, McTag.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 11:57 pm
@JTT,

Good morning. While I don't understand that, I'm not aware of being wrong in this instance. Far from it.

I had another thought on this this morning ,about the usage of the phrase "at the hands of".
To me, it denotes passage of time.

We have depredations at the hands of, damage at the hands of, suffering at the hands of. Actions happening over a period of time.
Otherwise, I'd prefer the use of the simple "by".

She died by her own hand.
He was killed by his pet tiger.
They were pillaged by a neighbouring tribe.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 09:48 am
@McTag,
Good morning to you, McTag.

Quote:
We have depredations at the hands of, damage at the hands of, suffering at the hands of. Actions happening over a period of time.


And despite your notion, you've ignored that we also have "Pillage at the hands of...", About 63,100 results.

There's no reason that 'pillage' can't happen over time. In fact, it did for the Japanese were in China for some time.

Quote:
Otherwise, I'd prefer the use of the simple "by".


Can you not see how useless personal opinions are for ESLs?
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 12:04 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

In fact, it did for the Japanese were in China for some time.



Does "for the Japanese were in China" mean "because the Japanese were in China"?
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 01:55 am
@JTT,

Quote:
you've ignored that we also have "Pillage at the hands of...", About 63,100 results.


That serves to indicate that there are around 63,000 misguided people out there, which doesn't surprise me in the least. And you're adding to the count every time you post. See how trouble spreads?

I can't easily explain why the phrase sounds clunky and wrong. And should be avoided, especially since there is a simpler, clearer alternative.

It's like saying "he underwent chartered accountancy at the hands of Deloitte and Touche".
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 01:58 am
@oristarA,

Quote:
Does "for the Japanese were in China" mean "because the Japanese were in China"?


Yes. In this case, "for" means "because".

See how important word, and phrase, selection is?

Mc(at your service)Tag
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 08:50 am
@McTag,
McTag wrote:


Quote:
Does "for the Japanese were in China" mean "because the Japanese were in China"?


Yes. In this case, "for" means "because".

See how important word, and phrase, selection is?

Mc(at your service)Tag


Thank you sir.
The last line makes me remember Joe Nation whom I've not seen for quite a long while.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
 
  1. Forums
  2. » pillage at the hands of both the Japanese and the KMT?
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.07 seconds on 05/15/2021 at 04:44:06