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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Did Chicago 16 Make an Error?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, Apr 21, 2014.

    The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, uses this example in section 6.119:

    This departure from previous editions of the manual overrides aesthetic considerations not only to recognize the syntactic independence of titles but also the potential for clearer sentence structure . . . .

    I do understand that recognize relates to both “the syntactic independence” and “the potential,” but it just looks weird.

    Technically speaking, I think their sentence, to be perfectly parallel, should have been written thus:

    This departure from previous editions of the manual overrides aesthetic considerations in order to recognize not only the syntactic independence of titles but also the potential for clearer sentence structure . . . .

    Do you concur?

    Thank you.
     
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  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    What they have may be grammatically correct (I'm not sure), but in this case I agree that your sentence is better.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That level of grammar is above my pay grade, but the CMOS has their own forum you might find it discussed on:

    http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/forum_help.html
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    They are both syntactically correct and stylistically (at least to my eye) equal, but the meaning shifts just a hair from one to the other and the "mistake factor" would have to be judged upon just which of the two slightly different meanings the CMoS was after.

    In the first example:

    not only to recognize the syntactic independence of titles but also the potential for clearer sentence structure . . . .

    I have highlighted the boundaries in color. in this case, the concept of recognition mentioned in the first bit is not part of the second bit. They each have their own emphasis, recognition in red, potential in blue.

    In the second example:

    in order to recognize not only the syntactic independence of titles but also the potential for clearer sentence structure . . . .

    Recognition
    becomes the emphasis of both bits since it resides prior in the order condescendi of the subsequent clauses. Recognition of independence and recognition of potential.

    The change is subtle and likely to evince eyerolls from my compatriots, but it's there and you seem to be an inquisitive person, receptive to info on the finer point. ;)
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    @Wreybies, I still think "to recognize" is modifying both "the syntactic independence..." and "the potential for..." in the first case. If you take out "to recognize the syntactic..." (just the first phrase), you're left with "...aesthetic considerations in order the potential for..." That makes no sense.

    That's why I prefer dilseed's edit; it makes it clear that "to recognize" is modifying both phrases.

    Damn, grammar makes my head hurt.
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I can agree with this. :) It answers to my need for aesthetic order in clause structures evidenced by my use of color and flair. ;) LOL

    Seriously, though, yes, I agree with you. ;)
     
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  7. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks, everyone. Appreciated.

    Dillweed
     

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