General Writing and Grammar Help/A strange usage.


Dear Ted,

How are you?

I see a book entitled A Many Splendored Thing.

It seems very strange. I have never seen such a usage.

How about your opinion? Thanks!



Dear Walden:

I see a book entitled A Many Splendored Thing.

It seems very strange. I have never seen such a usage.

How about your opinion? Thanks!

*** I agree with you.  The sentence is VERY strange.  

First of all, it is uncommon to say that someone SEES a book.  They READ books; they BUY books; they BORROW books.  But, if someone told me that he SAW a book -- with no other explanation given, I would ask him what he means.

The second problem is that titles of books are underlined or typed in an italic font.  I cannot do that in this Allexperts answer box, so I have to use quotation marks.  

I HAVE a book entitled "A Many Splendored Thing."

There is a famous line from a novel by a Chinese author.  The novel was made into a movie, and it had a title SONG:  Love is a many-splendored thing. Perhaps your book title refers to the NOVEL or SONG.

Here is additional information:

Love is a Many-splendored Thing
Love is a many-splendored thing,
Itís the april rose that only grows in the early spring,
Love is natureís way of giving a reason to be living,
The golden crown that makes a man a king.
Lost on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still,
When our fingers touch my silent heart has taught us how to sing,
Yes, true loveís a many-splendored thing.

A Many-Splendoured Thing is a novel by Han Suyin. It was made into the 1955 film Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, which also inspired a famous song. In her autobiographical work, My House Has Two Doors, she evinced no interest in even watching the film in Singapore, where it ran for several months. Her motive in selling the film rights was to pay for an operation in England for her adopted daughter who was suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis.[citation needed]

It tells the story of a married British foreign correspondent called Mark Elliot (Ian Morrison in real life and based in Singapore where he lived with his wife and children), who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor originally from Mainland China who trained at the London Royal Free Hospital Medical College in London University, only to encounter prejudice from her family and from Hong Kong society. On the surface it is a love story but there is a historical perspective relating to China, Hong Kong, and the peoples and societies that populated the island. This includes many who have fled from the final stages of the Chinese Civil War, both Chinese and Europeans long settled in China.

Although it is technically a novel, the book is strongly autobiographical. Han Suyin's real-life lover was killed during the Korean War in 1950. Two years later, she married Leon F. Comber, a British officer in the Malayan Special Branch. Han Suyin died in November 2012, aged 95.

*** Walden, if you appreciate my research and my answer, please do not forget the nomination as volunteer of the month.

Thank you.


General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2017 All rights reserved.