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JJ
 
 

Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action

by JJ Wed May 14, 2008 7:31 pm

Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.
B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.
C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.
D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.
E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


I chouse E, some say C. You say?
sanj
 
 

by sanj Thu May 15, 2008 6:26 am

its should be C
in E ' being heavily committed to......." should modify executive.
JJ
 
 

by JJ Fri May 16, 2008 4:55 pm

but the pronouns in C are just terribly vague

bad question if I may say so
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by RonPurewal Sun May 25, 2008 9:01 pm

JJ wrote:but the pronouns in C are just terribly vague

bad question if I may say so


i agree.
'it' is ambiguous, because it could potentially refer either to 'course of action' (the intended antecedent) or to 'incipient trouble'. also note that grammatical parallelism doesn't help: both of those possible antecedents are objects of prepositions - neither is the subject of its own clause (which would thereby create parallelism with 'it', which is the subject of its clause).

e is the best choice here. i cringe a bit at the use of 'being' - my first thought is that we could make the sentence better by using a noun, such as 'commitment' - but then you'd need some sort of possessive pronoun to show that it's the executive who's committed. in any case, (e) is definitely the best of the options here, none of which is perfect by any stretch.
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by Guest Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:18 pm

Ron,

In your explanation regarding the IT reference, in choice C isn't it clear that IT refers back to course of action which is the intended reference since incipient trouble is the object of the phrase OF INCIPIENT TROUBLE...I always thought it was understood that pronouns can never refer back to an object of any phrase...


W
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by RonPurewal Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:59 am

Anonymous wrote:Ron,

In your explanation regarding the IT reference, in choice C isn't it clear that IT refers back to course of action which is the intended reference since incipient trouble is the object of the phrase OF INCIPIENT TROUBLE...I always thought it was understood that pronouns can never refer back to an object of any phrase...


W


well, note that both 'course of action' and 'incipient trouble' are objects of prepositional phrases.
upon what difference are you basing your claim that the former is a legitimate antecedent, while the latter is not?
Guest
 
 

by Guest Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:22 pm

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

Ron,

Is it really ambiguous? To me it appeared as if it were referring to course of action.

There is no single trouble in the sentence. There are signs of incipient trouble which has been referred by they.

I am not convinced with the usage of being in E
relentlesspursuito700plus
 
 

"being" not always bad?

by relentlesspursuito700plus Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:55 am

Anonymous wrote:C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

Ron,

Is it really ambiguous? To me it appeared as if it were referring to course of action.

There is no single trouble in the sentence. There are signs of incipient trouble which has been referred by they.

I am not convinced with the usage of being in E


Tihs is a great question. Thanks for posting.

C says "An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past."


I hesitated between this and E, but ultimately chose E. Choice E wasn't great because of the whole "Being.." thing but C is vague. So I basically did a POE.

Everything is fine until we get to "especially if it has worked in the past." The way it is phrases, we can't tell for sure what has worked in the past. Is that referring to a course of action or misintepretation of signs of incipient trouble? If C is to be correct it should say,

"An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked in the past, is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear."
Jamie
 
 

Question for Ron

by Jamie Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:23 am

Ron--
When is it okay for one to use "being"? could you please give me an example?
i have this sense of urgency to eliminate an ans choice with "being" in it :-(

please help!!!

thanks,
jamie
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by RonPurewal Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:01 am

Anonymous wrote:C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

Ron,

Is it really ambiguous? To me it appeared as if it were referring to course of action.

There is no single trouble in the sentence. There are signs of incipient trouble which has been referred by they.

I am not convinced with the usage of being in E


this is also a "garden path sentence", meaning one that will be misinterpreted by native speakers, or will at least confound those native speakers, close to 100% of the time.
if you're not a native speaker, there may not be a good way to convince you of this completely, but the "it" here will simply not be comprehensible to the majority native readers of english on a first reading. (i'd imagine that it would very much confuse the _non_-native readers as well.)
the reason is that it's too nonparallel to its antecedent, but this is one of those things that experienced readers of formal english will largely just intuit. (sorry, that's just the way that it works ... same thing with idiomatic expressions!)

the kicker about such "garden path sentences" is that they're not necessarily even ungrammatical. here's another example:
the horse raced past the barn fell down.
this sentence has exactly one interpretation, and it's perfectly grammatical: the horse, which was being raced past the barn, fell down. unfortunately for non-native speakers/readers, such a sentence would still be universally marked "wrong" on a standardized test, because, well, no one would understand it on first reading.
:(
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Re: Question for Ron

by RonPurewal Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:07 am

Jamie wrote:Ron--
When is it okay for one to use "being"? could you please give me an example?
i have this sense of urgency to eliminate an ans choice with "being" in it :-(

please help!!!

thanks,
jamie


you're actually asking the wrong question; the question you should be asking is when you should eliminate "being".
the answer to that question is, ROUGHLY, that you should avoid "being" when expressing the IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS of some individual or thing. this is because "being" is usually unnecessary in such cases; there are simpler modifiers (such as appositives) that, while absolutely impossible to use in spoken language, are better in written language.
example:
being a cigar aficionado, john has strong opinions on when to use single-guillotine cigar cutters rather than double-guillotine cutters. --> bad.
a cigar aficionado, john has strong opinions on when to use single-guillotine cigar cutters rather than double-guillotine cutters. --> good. notice that we can simply omit the "being" here.

you don't want to omit "being" here, because it's not expressing identity: in the context of (e), it's a necessary verbal. (nice litmus test: try omitting it and see whether the sentence is still viable, perhaps with minor modifications. here, it isn't.)

so, to sum up:
if "being" expresses IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS, then kill it.
otherwise, evaluate it on the same merits as you would any other verb.
Guest
 
 

Re: Question for Ron

by Guest Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:28 pm

RPurewal wrote:
Jamie wrote:Ron--
When is it okay for one to use "being"? could you please give me an example?
i have this sense of urgency to eliminate an ans choice with "being" in it :-(

please help!!!

thanks,
jamie


you're actually asking the wrong question; the question you should be asking is when you should eliminate "being".
the answer to that question is, ROUGHLY, that you should avoid "being" when expressing the IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS of some individual or thing. this is because "being" is usually unnecessary in such cases; there are simpler modifiers (such as appositives) that, while absolutely impossible to use in spoken language, are better in written language.
example:
being a cigar aficionado, john has strong opinions on when to use single-guillotine cigar cutters rather than double-guillotine cutters. --> bad.
a cigar aficionado, john has strong opinions on when to use single-guillotine cigar cutters rather than double-guillotine cutters. --> good. notice that we can simply omit the "being" here.

you don't want to omit "being" here, because it's not expressing identity: in the context of (e), it's a necessary verbal. (nice litmus test: try omitting it and see whether the sentence is still viable, perhaps with minor modifications. here, it isn't.)

so, to sum up:
if "being" expresses IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS, then kill it.
otherwise, evaluate it on the same merits as you would any other verb.


Ron, you are the best.
Thank you again!

-Jamie
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Re: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action

by goelmohit2002 Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:03 am

Can someone please explain why A and B are wrong ?
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Re: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action

by RonPurewal Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:27 am

goelmohit2002 wrote:Can someone please explain why A and B are wrong ?


sure

here you go:

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


* "heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action" is awkward and difficult to read. (you may have to be a native speaker to pick up on this, though)

much more importantly:
* makes it likely to miss...
this doesn't work.
technically, this would mean that "it" - an unspecified entity - is likely to miss the signs.
if you use the "it is ADJ..." construction, and the verb has a specific subject, you MUST include that subject in the construction. it is likely that the executive will miss...


B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action ... makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.


i've eliminated the modifier in this sentence, simplifying its structure a bit.

once that modifier is eliminated, notice that you have a sentence that says that the executive him/herself makes missing the signs likely.

"misinterpreting ones" is also wrong. this should be "them", not "ones".
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Re: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action

by goelmohit2002 Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:31 pm

RonPurewal wrote:"misinterpreting ones" is also wrong. this should be "them", not "ones".


Hi Ron,

Can you please tell more about this....why it should be them and not ones ?

Thanks
Mohit