Tags:
  1. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    20

    "of" vs "in"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rumwriter, Nov 30, 2011.

    Would you say "The goal of writing is..." or "The goal in writing is..."
     
  2. lostinwebspace
    Offline

    lostinwebspace Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    I guess either is fine, but "of" writing sounds more natural to me. I'd say if you're ever in this situation in another sentence, go with whatever version won't make your reader pause and say, "Huh?"
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. evelon
    Offline

    evelon Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    England
    ' The goal of writing is...' Writing is incapable of having a goal - only the writer can strive towards a goal, so the sentence should be - 'The goal of a writer is to ....'

    'The goal in writing is...' may be possible, but still sounds awkward. 'For the writer, the goal is...'
     
  4. Raki
    Offline

    Raki Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    6
    This logic seems a little faulty to me. In this sense, "writing" is an action one does and, I think, capable of having a "goal" for those attempting that action. A writer may have many goals, but his goal of writing one specific document may be different. Since my explanations are sometimes difficult to follow (and often misunderstood), I'll put it to you another way. "Of writing" is a prepositional phrase that modifies the noun, "goal." In other words, it's not that "writing is incapable of having a goal," but that the "goal" is a "writing goal." If that makes sense ... I think I lost myself. For the OP, I would go with "of," but I think lostinwebspace is right, either will work (and I don't think either will stop the reader or be misunderstood).
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Jhunter
    Offline

    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Southern California
    I would personally go with "of."
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    both can work... it all depends on the context:

    the goal in writing historical novels is often to enlighten the readers about little-known events

    the goal of writing my memoirs is a very personal one--revenge!
     
  7. Explosion
    Offline

    Explosion Guest

    I agree with previous comments. Both work fine. I prefer: The goal of writing, personally it sounds a bit more general to me. The second one doesn't sound less general, but the the first just sounds more equal. If you get what I'm trying to say.
     

Share This Page