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  1. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    Help with complement vs. compliment

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by A2theDre, Sep 1, 2009.

    I was educating a friend as to the difference between these two words, and she told me that her lecturer used the word compliment in a way similar to comply.

    The sentence that I got from my friend was the following:

    "The most famous issue raised in the High Court was the case of Imbree v The Commonwealth in which the government circumvented compliment with the policy recommendations outlined in the Tony Fitzgerald Inquiry."

    That's the sentence I got from my friend. To me, regardless of the word compliment, the sentence doesn't make sense. So I asked her to elaborate on the actual issue. Apparently, it's something about the first case in challenging Government policy decisions - nowadays, in common law, you can't challenge Government decisions relating to policy. I don't know how well she understands this issue, though.

    In any case, I said that I believed her lecturer to be wrong and that compliment should be compliant. Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. Snap
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    Snap Member

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    Compliance. Even if compliment is a word (In the way it's used...I've never heard it), it just makes sense to say compliance. To me, anyway.
     
  3. Snap
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    Snap Member

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    It was bugging me, so I looked it up. :-D

    com⋅pli⋅ment  [n. kom-pluh-muhnt; v. kom-pluh-ment]

    –noun
    1. an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: A sincere compliment boosts one's morale.
    2. a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard: The mayor paid him the compliment of escorting him.
    3. compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards: He sends you his compliments.
    4. Archaic. a gift; present.

    –verb (used with object)
    5. to pay a compliment to: She complimented the child on his good behavior.
    6. to show kindness or regard for by a gift or other favor: He complimented us by giving a party in our honor.
    7. to congratulate; felicitate: to compliment a prince on the birth of a son.

    –verb (used without object)
    8. to pay compliments.

    Nowhere in there do I see "to comply with." :p
     
  4. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Compliment/to compliment
    Complement
    Compliance/to comply

    None of those words make sense in the context of the sentence below.

    "The most famous issue raised in the High Court was the case of Imbree v The Commonwealth in which the government circumvented compliment with the policy recommendations outlined in the Tony Fitzgerald Inquiry."

    EDIT: I think "compliance" could work in place of "compliment" like Snap mentioned above, but I think it's redundant when you're saying something was "circumvented". But overall, I don't know, lol. :p
     
  5. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    By Jove, I think you're right. Haha I don't know how I managed to get to compliant and not continue on to compliance. Thanks guys!
     
  6. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Did a lawyer write that sentence? Sounds like legal-speak. If not, it's nonsensical. If so, it's typical.

    The only reason to use 'compliment' that way is to deliberately confuse the reader. Even if it did have the additional meaning or connotation, such uncommon/unrecognised application of a word can only have one useful purpose.

    If one's intention is anything different, I'd say it's just bad writing.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I looked for any definition for either compliment or complement in a legal context, to no avail.

    If either word has a legal application, I suspect it would be complement, and its meaning would be the completion of some action. However, I didn't find anything to corroborate it. None of the meanings I found for compliment would seem to have even an oblique relevance to what you were describing.

    I would guess that compliance is the best word in that context.
     
  8. Kaltica
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    Kaltica New Member

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    Using the second dictionary definition that Snap provided, the sentence could be read as "...'the government circumvented' rubberstamping the practice with 'a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard' by going 'with the policy recommendations outlined in the Tony Fitzgerald Inquiry'."

    -o-
     
  9. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Perhaps I should have been more clear. I didn't mean to suggest that it might be valid usage. I meant that bull*** baffles brains, and it was mostly a joke.;)

    I've noticed an awful lot of posters with similar questions, and it's upsetting to think that so many teachers are confused about their subject. Each time something like this comes up, I regret my lack of formal education less and less.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Teachers aren't infallible.

    I will never forget how vehemently my 6th grade teacher argued that house current was DC.

    Her proof? "Because the lights don't flicker."
     

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