Polonius Production Diary: that which that
6 February 2017, 1:42 PM
Among the Polonius bits I have had trouble memorizing correctly, the word choices that are giving me the most trouble are which and that. Just to start with, let me say that I do not believe in the phony rule that restrictive which is ungrammatical. But it turns out that when I am memorizing, it is harder for me to remember restrictive which; I correct it (or rather, say, “correct” it, for this effect defective comes by cause) in my mind. There are three of them:
- I,iii: Think yourself a baby That you have taken these tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling.
- I,iii: . In few, Ophelia Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers, Not of that dye which their investments show, But mere implorators of unholy suits, Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds The better to beguile.
- II,i: . This must be known, which, being kept close, might move More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
And another that may not be restrictive—in truth, one of the reasons I don’t believe in the rule against restrictive which is that I don’t altogether believe in the distinction between restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses
- II,ii: A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of.
And there are restrictive thats.
- II,i: This is the very ecstasy of love, Whose violent property fordoes itself And leads the will to desperate undertakings As oft as any passions under heaven That does afflict our natures.
- II,ii: I mean the matter that you read, my lord.
- II,ii: Hath there been such a time, I would fain know that, That I have positively said “’Tis so,” When it proved otherwise?
Not the last one has the that-that, which is currently deprecated as style, tho’ there is no grammatical problem. Also deprecated, as I learned it, was that to refer to humans, as in this line:
- II,ii: If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.
…which I have difficulty remembering is not who. Or this line that I have difficulty remembering. One or the other.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,