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has been lost to (some time) Does "has been lost to the early years of the twenty-first century" in the following sentence mean "it existed in the early years of the twenty-first century and we do not have it now any more"? Text: To a large extent then, the idea of a socially engaged art that is heroically capable of changing the world has been lost to the early years of the twenty-first century.
Jun 15, 2019 5:07 AM
Answers · 3
I think in this case, the meaning is that it doesn't exist anymore IN the early years of the 21st century. When you use "lost to X," it can mean either that X is the place/location where the thing was lost or that X is the person/thing that has lost something. In this case, I believe it means that "the early years of the 21st century" have lost something. It /could/ mean that the early years of the 21st century are the place/time when the thing was lost, in which case your interpretation is correct. This seems like a less likely interpretation to me, but I would need more context from the rest of the book in order to know which one the author really means. In any case, "lost to X" is a rather literary/poetic phrase, and it therefore looks very pretentious in this context. As usual, the author of this book that you're reading seems to be writing in a confusing and overly complicated way, for no good reason.
June 15, 2019
Does "has been lost to the early years of the twenty-first century" in the following sentence mean "it existed in the early years of the twenty-first century and we do not have it now any more"? Yes. By using the word 'lost' there is also some suggestion by the writer/speaker that we were/are disadvantaged in some way by its disappearance.
June 15, 2019
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