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Thread: Some grammar questions inspired by Putin op-ed in NYTimes

  1. #1
    Властелин
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    Some grammar questions inspired by Putin op-ed in NYTimes

    In light of the recent differences regarding global events it is my pleasure to humbly address the honourable community with a pure linguistic matter at hand, which is - let's acknowledge it sadly - more and more becoming a rare case. While doing this, it is my hope that two birds might be killed with a single stone - the linguistic void of yours truly shall be filled, and the honourable community shall be reminded of the corner-stone aspect of this site that has been recently so masterly and exemplarily saved though bold and fearless efforts of one of the new (but not in the least less respected) members.

    Here are 2 quotes from Putin's recent address to US citizens. My questions have to do with grammar.


    1) No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
    2) It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.

    Why is it not:
    1) No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons ARE, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
    2) It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation IS.

    Is this kind of omission typical of official and press speak here? And does it work if ARE and IS are used?
    And also could you use ‘who’ instead of ‘whom’ here? Or that would be a mistake?

  2. #2
    Paul G.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    And also could you use ‘who’ instead of ‘whom’ here? Or that would be a mistake?
    Не могу утверждать на 100%, но мне кажется очевидным, что тут явно требуется падеж. Потому что "детей, которых удары предполагают защищать" = объект. Если использовать "who", то это подразумевает именительный падеж, т.е. старики и дети = субъект. "Я так думаю" ©.

  3. #3
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Насколько я знаю, whom уже практически не используется в английском, вместо этого используется просто who. Однако, whom и сейчас широко используется в таких фразах как: One of whom, none of whom, some of whom и им подобных
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  4. #4
    Властелин
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    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    Насколько я знаю, whom уже практически не используется в английском, вместо этого используется просто who.
    Yes, Sir! Я читал это в учебнике (меня интересует именно этот случай, т.е. то, что там может быть who - в учебнике это object of the verb in the relative clause), и в этом суть вопроса.

    (One of whom, none of whom, some of whom - это всё ок, отдельное слово whom, etc.)

    Попытался вставить картинку из файла, но не получилось. Могу привести цитату из этого учебника Cambridge English Grammar in Use, 3rd Ed.:

    But we do not often use whom in Spoken English.... etc.

    В принципе, мне всё ясно. Я жду реакции носителей, как бы они сказали в том путинском примере.

  5. #5
    Властелин
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    I see no issues with your versions or Putin's versions.

    Scott

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин 14Russian's Avatar
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    These two pages explain it well:
    "How to Use ""Who"" and ""Whom"" Correctly (with Examples) - wikiHow"
    Grammar Girl : Who Versus Whom :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™

    who -> subject -> he/she
    whom -> object -> him/her

    E.g. Who/whom did that to me? (He did.../She did... -> therefore it's 'who')
    Who/Whom are you talking to? (I am talking to him/her -> therefore it's 'whom)

    As for the other question: "No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons (ARE), ...."
    In that context, you always use 'are' vs 'is.' If you use 'is' then the word (object) must be singular not plural. So, 'or how sophisticated the weapon IS, ..." The verb is/are usage depends on the singular/plural form.

    If you take the entire sentence (as a whole), you will notice the verb "ARE" is used before the sentence is completed so you don't have to use ARE in the first part before the comma.

    I hope that helps.
    alexsms likes this.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Sasha, I believe I may be able to answer your question in part. As a long-time journalist, I can attest that news writing is more streamlined than literary writing and so sometimes extra words are eliminated from a sentence, even though they may be correct grammatically, in order to tighten up the writing and provide more "punch." There is also a trend to write "conversationally" in journalism, especially in broadcast journalism. Literary writing tends to be more passive and more expressive, whereas news writing is active and tightly edited.

    Of course, there is also a lot of bad writing in news these days where the grammar is poor because an uneducated intern was put in charge of writing the headline. A good news-writer must be familiar with proper grammar so that he can know which rules to break and when.

    Writing good news headlines is actually something of an art form. There are many textbooks written expressly for journalists, which instruct us on how to edit writing so that the news can be delivered as clearly and succinctly as possible. If I had saved up all the red ink editors used on my writing, it would probably fill up a few bath-tubs!

    Here is a good example of what I am describing:

    http://englishforjournalists.journal...2/write-tight/

    Another reason for writing tightly, other than succinctness, is because stories have to be trimmed to fit whatever space or time has been allotted by the editors or producers.

    http://ijnet.org/stories/how-write-b...t-news-stories
    alexsms and iCake like this.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

  8. #8
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    ...Of course, there is also a lot of bad writing in news these days where the grammar is just bad because an uneducated intern was put in charge of writing the headline. ...
    Ketchum: we didn't write Putin op-ed, just pitched it - PRWeek US

    23 millions?
    alexsms likes this.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  9. #9
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    23 million is correct.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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