1. Switch
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    Switch Member

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    Victory was in my sights

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Switch, Jan 30, 2011.

    Writing a short story currently and halfway through I use the phrase "Victory was in my sights", however my Mum disagrees with this phrase and says that it is incorrect, and that I should say "Victory was in sight". I'd like to know whether my way is correct and why (I have seen it used many a time in books) or whether my Mum's way is correct.
    Thanks ;D
     
  2. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    The way it reads to me is:

    Victory was in my sights

    This would be a metaphor that you are aiming a gun at victory and you are going to kill/capture victory.

    Victory was in sight

    Very basic, and pretty self explanatory.
     
  3. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Google ngrams is a handy tool both for the wag and the wordsmith. Punch those terms in and this is what you get. The lines represent use in English over the passage of time.

    [​IMG]

    A pretty decisive victory for your mum, though it might be noted that you are not grammatically in the wrong (as vanarie indicates).

    An interesting tool, too, for historians, sociologists, and researchers. The Sixties was a peculiarly sarcastic decade, it seems.
     
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  4. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    That is one of the greatest tools yet on the web. Thanks for posting art.

    And apparently, the number of adulterous wives has skyrocketed since the 30's lol

    [​IMG]
     
  5. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Ditto Varanie - cool post, Art.

    And nice pick-up for "sights", Varanie. I'd not thought of it possibly being that way. I'll have to find a way to work it in somewhere as it "feels" wrong to me. ;)

    -Frank
     
  6. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Interested to see the whole sentence.
     
  7. Boring Editor
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    Boring Editor Member

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    None are incorrect. They are different, the former seeming more personal--in the absence absent of context, at least.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    oh, really?... what about husbands?... and how are such numbers determined?... is there some magical way that all commissions of adultery can be proven and registered, since every single one of the adulterers are not at all likely to report themselves?
     
  9. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, Frank. Thanks, Vanarie. Yep, it's very cool.

    [​IMG]

    I made a guess about the fortunes of the phrase of course and found out my guess wasn't far off. You could write a book about that blue line.
     
  10. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    Husbands were doing it long before the 30's lol

    I think you should step back, sit down, and realize that it was a joke.

    And no, so we're clear, I didn't assume it was an empirical study into the lives of cheating wives. Dear lord...
     
  11. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    victory was in my sight.. very good phrase indeed
     
  13. jaywriting
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    jaywriting Member

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    I love this thread

    BTW how do you embed images? Didn't seem to work for me.
     
  14. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right click the graph..Copy image location..then paste into the 'insert image' box.
     

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