Re: Dubious lists
- From: "jerry_friedman@xxxxxxxxx" <jerry_friedman@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 18:20:16 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 3, 9:31 pm, Arcadian Rises <Arcadianri...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Dec 3, 11:15 pm, "jerry_fried...@xxxxxxxxx"
On Dec 3, 8:03 am, Arcadian Rises <Arcadianri...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Dec 2, 8:53�pm, "Paul E Collins" <find_my_real_addr...@xxxxxxx>
There's something I consider a grammatical (and logical) error that I
keep seeing. In fact, I've seen it so often lately that I've started
to wonder whether it's actually valid, particularly when I have
Example 1 (from yesterday's Sunday Telegraph, national UK newspaper):
"In his later years, [Evel Knievel] survived two strokes, a liver
transplant, hepatitis C and battled depression."
Example 2 (from a Wikipedia article):
"Graham A. Nelson (born 1968) is a British mathematician, poet, and
the creator of the Inform design system for creating interactive
fiction (IF) games."
What strikes me as wrong here is that each list contains an item that
cannot be substituted *for* the list ("He survived battled
depression", "He is poet"). I suppose the second one is more debatable
because "a British mathematician and poet" would be okay, but in that
case we'd also have "a British the creator", which isn't.
What's the consensus on this? Is it sufficiently widespread to be
considered acceptable, or not?
Are you so much given to automatic thinking that you cannot comprehend
a text with un-parallel constructions? Or you just dislike such
asymmetric expressions because they don't fulfill your aesthetic
I can comprehend them, but they make me feel as if a hair-thin
stiletto were passing through my heart. (That's an expression of an
esthetic standard of mine.)
If a parallelism failure can bring about such angst, then I suggest
you avoid James Joyce altogether; his even higher unpredictibility may
cause you a heart atack.
Why this assumption that my objection is to unpredictability? It's
not--indeed this pattern is so common that it seems as likely as
parallelism. "Asymmetric", as you said above, is closer.
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