Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 12:42 pm
Do you think (1) and (2) are clear? If they are clear, how to improve them?

(1) The reliability of executive result is higher with a well-thought-out plan made in advance.

(2) And indeed, the worst of my faults was a certain impatient gaiety of disposition, such as has made the happiness of many, but such as I found it hard to reconcile with my imperious desire to carry my head high, and wear a more than commonly grave countenance before the public.

If you feel inconvenient, please just choose one of them to reply. Thanks.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 04:34 pm
Oristar, They're both clear. The first could use a bit of rewriting. The second was written a long time ago and seems fine the way it is.
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oristarA
 
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Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 07:01 pm
Roberta wrote:
Oristar, They're both clear. The first could use a bit of rewriting. The second was written a long time ago and seems fine the way it is.


Thank you Roberta.
Would you like to rewrite the (1)? Smile
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:04 pm
I don't see the need, but Roberta is the expert. c.i.
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Roberta
 
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Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2003 12:21 am
Oristar, I'll be happy to tell you what's wrong.

The reliability of executive result is higher with a well-thought-out plan made in advance.

1. Should result be plural?
2. Higher--you shouldn't use a comparative term without indicating what is being compared to what.
3. A well-thought-out plan made in advance is redundant.
4. What specifically do you mean by executive result?
5. Are you saying that executives' job perfomance is helped by good planning? If so, why not just say it?
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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 04:57 am
I assumed the why of "a well-thought-out plan made in advance is redundant" is because "a well-though-out plan" must be made in advance. Am I on the right track, Roberta?
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New Haven
 
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 07:06 am
Roberta is the expert. I was happy to pass English, when I was in College!!
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 07:39 am
The number one sentence is awkward leaving some ambiguity which Roberta has outlined. How about the reverse?

An executive's ineptness is in relation to how far up the ladder he has climbed.

Also known as "the Peter Principal."
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 07:41 am
Number two could be cited for being a "boxcar" sentence. Something Gore Vidal once stated he loathed and then in his book "Creation" violated the practice more than once. I've yet to forgive him.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 08:00 am
Oristar, Yes!! You are definitely on the right track. Was everything else that I said clear?

New Haven, There are experts, and then there are experts. I had to consult someone I view as an expert on another English thread. BTW, I majored in English in college. Why? I liked it, but, more importantly, it was easy. Each of us has our strengths and weaknesses.

Lightwizard, I always enjoy looking at things from both sides. What it boils down to is that if you plan well, you'll succeed, and if you don't, you won't. Not sure I understand what Gore meant by a boxcar sentence. Will the lightwizard enlighten me?
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 11:33 am
Same as what my English college professors would call "a run-on sentence." In other words, a sentence that would be better understood if broken up into two sentences. "Boxcar" refers to a railroad train that has endless boxcars lined up behind the locomotive. You might say that such sentence's motives are loco.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 11:36 am
(And don't forget the old adage, Roberta, about "the best made plans of mice and men..." Also Murphy's Law that if something can go wrong, it will).

I know that all is rather cynical, especially the one about "it's not good enough to succeed, others must fail." Laughing Laughing Laughing

I have a variation on the glass half empty and the glass half full. What if the glass has a leak in it?
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 01:48 pm
Sentence 1 is clear to me, but I would throw in some commas to make it even clearer. Rolling Eyes
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 01:50 pm
Sentence 2 is clear, but could be improved by making a several shorter sentences, instead of one that goes on, and on and on.

Just my opinion, but I'm not the English teacher!
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 06:20 pm
Lightwizard, The second sentence isn't a run-on sentence. It's just long. A run-on requires an absence of correct punctuation between clauses.

And, indeed, the worst of my faults was a certain impatient gaiety of disposition, such as has made the happiness of many, but such as I found it hard to reconcile with my imperious desire to carry my head high, and wear a more than commonly grave countenance before the public.

I'd add the first comma and delete the second. Otherwise the sentence is grammatically correct. It's just too damned long. Also, the meaning is clear, which was Oristar's original question.

I was in the corporate world long enough to know that Murphy was right.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 08:53 pm
Technically it's not a run-on sentence but stylistically it is very close to being a boxcar sentence. It's all in how a particular English instructor would view the style of the sentence -- some might say it is also an awkward sentence. I agree about the commas -- the least understood and most misused of all punctuation. Usually people insert commas where they are unnecessary. Anyone reading my writing will notice I love the dash. However, don't call me dashing as I don't believe I am.

Okay, now I'm hyphen and puffing.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2003 12:44 am
Lightwizard, Long? Yes. Awkward? Yes. Wrong? Not technically. Could it be better? Yes. I sometimes get the feeling that we are inclined to think that old is good. Sometimes it is; sometimes it ain't.

I like dashes in the kind of conversational writing we do here on a2k. They help us express pauses, breaks in thought, etc. However, I wouldn't want to pick favorites punctuationally speaking. I don't want to offend anybody.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2003 09:25 am
It reads like someone trying to emulate Oscar Wilde or it may even be extracted from something he wrote though I am doubting it. Or was this bait to point out that even some of the best writers sometimes become stylistically bereft?

I have a tendency to descend into Internet speak with broken sentences which are conversational. I don't really enjoy a chat format as small talk will quickly bore me. I probably still agree with my English professors who did not like... They cited this as the worst of the affectations in writing style and really meaningless. I like it as humorous bait but use it judiciously.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2003 09:27 am
Ain't!??? Shocked Confused Rolling Eyes :wink: Laughing

(What would Oscar have thought of Emoticons?)
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mutmut3
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2003 01:14 pm
For even more boxcar examples, check out Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter or Brontë's Jane Eyre!
0 Replies
 
 

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