Post of the Day
July 9, 1998

From our
Women and Investing Board

A command of the language is never as much fun as winning its heart.

Subject: Re: Reflecting
Author: laopera

Mike Buckley wrote:

"As a professional in the industry, as a CEO of a firm managing $200 million in assets, how much more impressed I would have been had he joined the forum with a tone and style that I think is more appropriate for his executive position in business."

AndrewVare wrote:

"Read EB White and understand, if you can say in three paragraphs what took you 13, something is amiss. It looks like a split infinitive, does it not? Missed object of the preposition? Help me out here... "


Yeah, ATV, I see your concern and I feel your pain. There is no split infinitive here, however, nor a missed object of a preposition (though that is close). What we have is hypotaxis gone astray via a disjunct subordinate clause.

"As a professional in the industry" requires an immediate follow-up by the subject (in this case "he"), but Buckley plugged in the direct object ("I"), thereby making himself appear to be the object of the subordinate clause. He further complicated it by throwing the whole thing into the subjunctive ("would I have been").

Buckley should have said:

"I expected a lot more from this guy."

But Buckley's original post on zeros, as well as his bbq shrimp recipe, were very close to perfection.

And ATV, at the risk of being precious, I might add that if you, by means of a pronomial synecdoche ("EB White") are referring us to Elements of Style, I think Mr. Strunk should also be given his due.

Unlike you or Mr. Buckley, I'm never a threat to win post of the day, but I always enjoy participating in any way I can. To all lovers of polite English, and to all polite lovers of English, I say: Fool on!

Joseph Mailander

Go To Women & Investing Board

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