1. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    Is this acceptable?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by carsun1000, May 6, 2015.

    "...and that they would keep an eye on the case and would assist the local police should they request for help or if the killer continued to strike and use the same M.O within and without the border of the city."

    If not acceptable what could I use to replace this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think it reads awkwardly.

    Apart from the bolded section, I'd remove the word "for" after "request."

    The bolded part doesn't read right to me. I'm not sure it is technically wrong (grammar experts can chime in), but I don't like the way it reads. Also, the way the sentence reads, whoever is helping isn't going to help if the killer strikes and uses a different M.O.? I understand that you probably mean it will take the M.O. to show that it is the same killer, but that's not how the sentence reads.

    I'd do something like "...and that they would keep an eye on the case and assist the location police should they request help, or if the killer continued to strike, whether inside the city or not." That loses a lot of extraneous words. Just an example, and I'm not suggesting it is the best wording or one that you should adopt, I'm just illustrating a point. I can think of half a dozen ways to write it. But this loses the second "would" in the sentence, which isn't needed in my view, it gets rid of "for" after "request," and it eliminates the ambiguity with respect to whether they're helping with the killer or only with the specific M.O. You could also say they're helping with killings having the same M.O., whether inside the city or not, and eliminate the part about the "killer continued to strike." Either approach eliminates that problem.

    But yeah, to get back to your specific question, I don't know that the bolded part is incorrect, but if it were me I'd reword it just because I don't like the way it reads.
     
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  3. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    You could insert 'both':
    I'd be reluctant to suggest anything else without seeing the whole sentence, at least, because there's always a risk of unintentionally changing your meaning.
     
  4. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    Thanks, thought the same. Will move things around and play with new words to see if i can still convey the same message.
     
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  5. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Within and without I've seen in older works and lyrics, I figure it has fallen very much from use now (although I think it'll technically hold its own). "Without" nowadays is almost exclusively used to convey not having possession. Unless you're wanting to have the reader stop and think about the phrase or communicate in an archaic manner then you might be better served keeping it simple. There's "both inside and outside", or you could possibly use "both within and beyond". This I'm sure would negate any mind-pause for the reader.
     
  6. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Throw some commas at it, try a semi-colon:

    "...and that they would keep an eye on the case, and would assist the local police should they request for help; or if the killer continued to strike, and use the same M.O, within and without the border(s) of the city."
     
  7. Phil Partington
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    Phil Partington Member

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    No, 'without' is not (in this case) opposite of within. "Beyond" would be a better word choice here. Also, you could condense/tighten this sentence a lot if you wanted to. I'd recommend it.

    Something like, "...and they would keep an eye on the case, assisting police when asked for help or the killer struck again, while using the same M.O. both within and beyond the city's borders."

    *shrugs* just a friendly suggestion.
     
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