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Re: to know the deceased is to.......

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 23, 2006

In Reply to: To know the deceased is to....... Posted by Ines ajavon on May 23, 2006

: to know the deceased is to.......
: tit for tat ...........
: to scare a bird is to

The phrase tit for tat is discussed in the archives, which you can reach by going back one page and entering the phrase in the Search Box at the top of the page.

I'm not sure what you are asking in regard to the other two incomplete sentences. In both of them, the part before "is" is an infinitive phrase used as a noun phrase. The words "is to" require another infinitive phrase in apposition to the first. I don't recognize either of your phrases as the start of a common saying. Moreover, using the present tense "is" with "to know the deceased" is to suggest a problematic relationship. Could Shakespeare's first draft have read, "Alas, poor dead Yorick, I know him, Horatio"? It's hard to keep up an acquaintace with a dead man, except insofar as you may be asked to identify him.

Are you trying to figure out the correct way to conclude your sentence? Here are two possible examples. To know the deceased is to find yourself under investigation by the F.B.I. Two infinitive phrases, the first used as subject, the second as a predicate noun, or noun phrase in apposition, or subject complement, are balanced on either side of a copulative verb.

To scare a bird is to invite negative remarks. Same situation.

Or are these to be considered actual sayings of which you have forgotten the second part?
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