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We need a view that can explain X. In the next part we suggest a view of such capacity.

"a view of such capacity" in the above sentence is intended to mean "a view with the ability to explain X". Is such usage idiomatic?

  • The whole sentence is quite opaque. I am pretty sure that "capacity" is wrong, but I hesitate to suggest any alternative because I cannot figure out what the intended meaning is. I suggest that the question be edited for additional detail on what thought is intended. – Jeff Morrow Dec 14 '17 at 19:14
  • @JeffMorrow What about "a view of that sort"? – Sasan Dec 16 '17 at 20:47
  • Amazingly, "of that sort" does result in a less vague sentence. I am still not 100% sure I know what you intend, but the sense appears to be expressible much more concisely with: "X requires explanation. The next part proposes one." English is hard in large part because there are so many words to choose from, but that is also its source of power. – Jeff Morrow Dec 16 '17 at 21:18
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There's definitely a word usage problem going on here. I think the problem lies with the usage of "of" and the definition of "capacity." It's used as a synonym for aptitude, ability, or competence, but at its root it's a term of measurement. That is, even when it's used as synonyms for those words, the implied meaning is still that it's a measurement of adequate ability or competence.

Specifically, when used as the object of "of," it conjures its base meaning of measurement:

I need seating for 300, do you have a room of such capacity?
I have a one-liter bottle. Do you have a bottle of the same capacity?

In your example, there is not a specific measurement to refer to, so the statement would be more comprehensible using the preposition "with."

We need a view that can explain X. In the next part, we suggest a view with this capacity.

However, because not much measurement is being implied, a word like capability would still be a better word choice.

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No, the meaning of “of such capacity” in this context is neither clear nor idiomatic. Since you’re intending to refer to the same “view” as described in the previous sentence, a clearer alternative would be:

"We need a view that can explain X. In the next part we suggest such a view."

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