> "Mostly, a steady stream of ... schemes pressed upon > anxious presidents was referred [to the Council of > Economic Advisers] for polite but firm disposal. And > this was the equally the case under Ronald Reagan as > under Lyndon Johnson." > >The second of the two quoted sentences tripped me up. >At first, I thought something was wrong with "as under." Then I >realized that "... *the same* under RR as under LJ," would have >sounded all right. > >I decided that a sentence containing "as" in the sense of >"like," along with "equally" *and* "the case," had more >expressions of equivalence than it needed. I rewrote it, >retaining as much of the diction as possible, and came up >with (among others): > > This was the case under Lyndon Johnson, and equally so > under Ronald Reagan. > >Perhaps a grammarian can explain what was wrong with the >original sentence, if anything really was. Other ways you could rewrite it include: This was as much the case under ... as under ... This was as true under ... as under ... The problem is that the equative "as ... as ..." construction really needs both instances of "as" to sound right. "Equal(ly)", of course, *means* the same thing, but it's not quite assimilated (the technical term is "grammaticized") to the requirements of the construction yet, so we go happily along with "equally the case", and then trip over the "as" because the first shoe hasn't fallen yet. This is not unrelated to the problems with the comparative constructions with "than" or "from". Most of those arise from new locutions that are comparative in sense, but not yet in grammatical rights and privileges. Equative, comparative, and superlative constructions are among the hairiest in English, as memorialized in the subtitle of Jim McCawley's The Syntactic Phenomena of English. He wanted to call it _More Than You Probably Wanted to Know About English Syntax_. Try parsing that one and you'll see. -------------------------------------------- -John Lawler More grammar Linguistics Program University of Michigan "..and, who knows? Maybe the horse will sing."