Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: How to deal with redundancy, illogic and contradiction, and bad syntax  (Read 1656 times)
Joe Carillo
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Karma: +52/-2
Posts: 3561


View Profile Email
« on: January 16, 2015, 09:19:01 AM »

Facebook member Mary Anne Santos Fernandez asked me following question today on my Facebook page (January 16, 2015):

Good morning, Sir!

Which of the following is correct?
1. Answer briefly AND concisely the following.
2. Answer briefly BUT concisely the following.
3. Answer the following briefly but concisely.
4. Answer the following briefly and concisely.

Thank you.

My reply to Mary Anne:

Here’s my assessment of the following sentence constructions that you presented:

1. “Answer briefly AND concisely the following.” - Use of the conjunction “and” results in redundancy because “briefly” and “concisely” are virtually synonymous; positioning the phrase at the tail end of the sentence makes for awkward reading. Bad construction.

2. “Answer briefly BUT concisely the following.” - Use of the conjunction “but” results in contradiction and illogic because “briefly” and “concisely” are NOT polar opposites; positioning the phrase at the tail end of the sentence makes for awkward reading. Worse than Sentence 1.

3. “Answer the following briefly but concisely.” - Contradictory and illogical for the same reason as Sentence 2 but reads better because it positions the phrase “the following” in its syntactically proper place in the sentence. Bad construction.

4. “Answer the following briefly and concisely.” - Redundant for the same reason as Sentence 1 but reads better because it positions the phrase “the following” in its syntactically proper place in the sentence. Bad construction.

A grammatically and syntactically preferable construction: “Answer the following briefly” or “Answer the following concisely.”

Take your pick.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 07:47:55 PM by Joe Carillo » Logged

melvinhate
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
Posts: 51


"I came. I learn. I share"


View Profile Email
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 02:34:27 PM »

Answer the essay question briefly and substantially. Is it correct? Thank you.
Logged
Joe Carillo
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Karma: +52/-2
Posts: 3561


View Profile Email
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 07:56:01 AM »

"Substantially"  means considerable in quantity in that particular context. I don't think that word would be appropriate. It certainly isn't synonymous with "concisely," which means "marked by brevity of expression." Indeed, "substantially" could give the examinee the idea that he or she needs to give a long, detailed answer.
Logged

Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to: