1

In my technical paper, I have written as follows.

The strategy is used to fix outer-boundaries is useful for maintaining symmetries and alignments of boundaries.

But, I have been asked to reformulated this sentence. I am confused now what is the wrong with this... Doesn't this give a clear literacy?

So, If I write like this

The strategy used to fix outer-boundaries is useful for maintaining gutter symmetries and as well as alignments of adjacent boundaries.

However, please suggest your way because I want to learn how this can be improved.

4
  1. In the first place, you have two main verbs:

    The strategy is used to...
    [The strategy ...] is useful for...

    You may fix this by 'conjoining' them with an and

    The strategy is used to ... and is useful for...

    But I suspect what you mean is that “the strategy which is used to &c is useful”. This may be reduced to “the strategy used to fix outer boundaries is useful for...”— as you do in your rewrite.

  2. There is an ambiguity in the last part of the sentence: it is not clear whether the phrase of boundaries modifies both symmetries and alignments or only alignments. It appears from your rewrite that it is supposed to modify only alignments; I would rewrite this as

    ... for maintaining symmetries and boundary alignments.

    If boundary were intended to modify both, I would make this explicit:

    ... for maintaining boundary symmetries and boundary alignments.

    This may appear a little wordy; but in technical writing you cannot be too precise. The Adamantine Law is that in written discourse, “Anything which can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.”

  3. As for your rewrite: I don’t know enough about your topic to judge whether the more detailed specification with gutter and adjacent is necessary; that is between you and your thesis supervisor or publisher. But the use of as well as is doubly faulty:

    • X and as well as Y is not an idiomatic construction. You may say “X and Y” or “X as well as Y” or “X, and Y as well”.

    • X as well as Y is not equivalent to X and Y: it does not coordinate the two entities X and Y, it adds a parenthetical observation about Y. Use A is X as well as Y only when you have previously stated that A is Y, and you wish to remind the reader of that fact—for instance, if you want to make it clear that saying A is X does not contradict or exclude A being Y.

  4. Outer-boundaries, with a hyphen, is not conventional English. Ordinarily an adjective is assumed to attach to and modify the following noun, so there is no need for a hyphen. The hyphen is need only when the modified noun itself serves as a modifier, as in this question of yours, where the hyphen in “outer-boundary line segments” makes it clear that outer modifies only boundary, not line segments.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.