walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Sentences That Make Me Go Hmmmm

I've got two of them right in a row, individually a little startling and together, the sort of thing that makes me wonder if the author and all readers prior to publication were just asleep at the wheel.

"These promiscuous women -- whether prostitutes, adulteresses, or merely sexually active females operating outside male control -- occasioned fear because they did not submit to men and could disrupt legitimate marriages."

Right, so, pause. Why women and then females? Those are not accidental word choices. That's a little creepy. I'd have been happy if it had been women throughout or females throughout -- but only females if that men was males. Parallelism isn't just about style, people, although that matters, too. Next sentence.

"They were of interest in the construction of Mesopotamian legal documents because of their impact on private and economic issues, such as inheritance devolution, rather than out of desire to regulate morality."

What The Fuck? How can private and economic issues -- especially inheritance -- ever be considered as separate from regulating morality? This kind of wild misunderstanding of categories has already appeared in the text.

"She participated in and embodied an economy of gift exchange that maintained, rather than severed, the connection between individuals."

Um, that's what economies of gift exchange do. Always. How is that a "rather"?

All sentences from _Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World_, Faraone and McClure and I'm _really_ starting to regret this purchase. The positive review on the detail page at Amazon from Judith Hallett is starting to look like logrolling.

Also, I've got a word-o "often" that should have been "open". And there are all these references to "ancient testimonia" being unreliable that I think you could replace with "Herodotus made shit up. Again." and it would be much less opaque.

This is not making me happy.
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