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Muddying the waters

17 February 2010

Marking some academic text by second language English writers, and I am trying to sort out in my own mind how ‘wrong’ this is, and why:

During the S-phase, it divides [where ‘it’ = S-phase]

or

In this text, it explains [where ‘it’ = text]

We don’t do this in English, but where is the issue? The redundancy? The discourse failure, watering down the subject by pre-empting it in a circumstance? The grammar failure, where the referent of ‘it’ is disqualified by being in a circumstance?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 16 November 2010 9:42 pm

    In these examples the subject piggybacks the adverbial, and mucks up the sentence in the process.

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