2

I believe it can't, because the omission of was makes valued and stigmatized paralleled.

The thing they were good at at school wasn't valued, or was actually stigmatized.

5
  • 2
    If you wanted to remove one "was", you could say: The thing they were good at in school was actually stigmatized or not valued.
    – AIQ
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 21:26
  • 1
    If you remove was, the sentence will still be grammatical. So, it's fine to do so. However, doing so would alter the meaning of the sentence, because it would then be saying that the thing they were good at wasn't stigmatized. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 2:52
  • @AIQ That sounds quite clumsy.
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Feb 23 at 11:01
  • As currently written, the wording is clumsy. You might be better to rephrase it. Possibly something like: At school, the thing they were good at was either stigmatized or not valued.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 23 at 12:58
  • "At school, the thing they were good at was unvalued/undervalued, or actually stigmatized." or something like "Their best subject at school was unvalued, or actually stigmatized." (Substitute talent, class, ability, etc for subject.) Repeating "at" is bad style even if it's grammatical.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 24 at 12:42

2 Answers 2

0

No, "was" can't be omitted, for the reasons that you give.

-1

No.

If you remove the word was you end up with the meaning that the 'thing' wasn't "valued or actually stigmatized", which still sounds clumsy but implies that although it wasn't valued, it wasn't stigmatized either.

The original sentence isn't great - a better way to phrase it would be:

The thing they were good at at school wasn't valued, or was even stigmatized.

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