Wondering if the current usage of 'were it' is acceptable:

Were it that the waters were not calm, so that she might at least be pushed in some other direction!

I understand that it would make more sense to the modern audience to use 'If only' rather than 'were it', but the atmosphere I am going for is a more old-fashioned one.  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance to any who decide to reply to this.

Original Post

Hi, CP1612, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange,

CP1612 posted:

Wondering if the current usage of 'were it' is acceptable:

Were it that the waters were not calm, so that she might at least be pushed in some other direction!

I understand that it would make more sense to the modern audience to use 'If only' rather than 'were it', but the atmosphere I am going for is a more old-fashioned one.  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance to any who decide to reply to this.

The use of 'Were it that' is just very archaic. I don't know the whole context, but the usage of 'If only' seems better here. You could say something like "Oh, God! If only the waters were not ...."

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