Given the following sentences

  1. He was not technically allowed to view the reports.

  2. He was technically not allowed to view the reports.

which of the given sentence is correct and why?

  • What makes you think either of them are correct? Or incorrect? – SamBC Apr 18 '19 at 23:10
  • I have no idea at all. – ilovetolearn Apr 19 '19 at 4:03

I prefer the second usage, "He was, technically, not allowed to view the reports" BUT WITH COMMAS ADDED AS SHOWN. With those two commas added, it becomes clear that officially, this person was not supposed to view the reports, but is in fact viewing the reports anyway.

One problem with "He was not technically allowed to view the reports" is that it could be interpreted as having an additional meaning, that the person was stopped from viewing the reports by a technical limitation that prevented him from accessing the reports. I admit, this is really reaching, and many, if not most people, would not think of it this way. This usage could also have two commas added, before and after the word "technically", and would be equally as good as the other usage. It would then read, "He was not, technically, allowed to view the reports."

The difference between the two, as originally presented, is very trivial. However, if you add the commas to the second usage, as shown in my example, it becomes the clear winner. If you also add the two commas to the first usage it's a tie between the two.

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