Log in

No account? Create an account
the coproduct of doom [userpic]

grumble about verbs and plurals

October 8th, 2003 (05:12 pm)

In this document there's a quoted section with this plutral "Both set theory and category theory transcends the particularity of mathematical structures.", and it doesn't taste right to me, because it's saying that each set theory and category theory transcend. I think you'd say that "theories transcend" probably sounds more reasonable than "theories transcends". Saying "Terrence and Philip drinks fresh mango juice." sounds wrong to me for the same reason.


Posted by: TJ (myrathi)
Posted at: October 9th, 2003 11:39 am (UTC)

I'd have to agree with you. The following would seem to be correct:

"Both set theory and category theory transcend the particularity of mathematical structures."

Posted by: funner'n a sack a weasels (moominmolly)
Posted at: October 9th, 2003 11:55 am (UTC)

Yeah, agreed. I think the author is making a bad parallel with "neither".

Posted by: mark (prgrmr)
Posted at: October 9th, 2003 07:38 pm (UTC)
You are right

The verb should be the plural form. You wouldn't write "Both transcends", which is essentially what the author did.

The structure of this:

The problem, as posed by Benacerraf, is that Ernie and Johnny have learned different versions
of set theory, the referents assigned to the terms are different, and we are faced with the
following problem:

is also incorrect. He's either missing a "therefore" (or something similar) just prior to the referents, or should have used problems if indeed the bit about the referents are a separate problem as it's not completely clear from the context which is meant.

Lots of nice, pretty, multisyllable words. Blowing the verb tenses takes a bit of the impact away, IMO.

Posted by: Thud. Mac-Thud. (macthud)
Posted at: October 16th, 2003 08:48 am (UTC)
Drives me nuts.

One of my recent (and ongoing) pet peeves is the tendency of tech-ish writers to try to use flowing language, when they really don't understand the words they're using, and have little to no concept of proper sentence structure.

One supervisorish person I'm still dealing with has a love affair with `however`, `furthermore`, `be advised`, and the like, one or more of which must be used in virtually every second-and-subsequent sentence in any email, FAQ response, etc.

I need to find some suitably harsh and yet comedic grammar rants to post at my cube entry...

4 Read Comments