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I read a sentence in my economics textbook which was:

Indeed perusal of LPG policies was to a great extent a matter of economic compulsion rather than a matter of choice for the politicians of the country.

Considering how dictionaries describe the word "perusal" I don't think it should have been there. Instead, I think what was meant is "pursuance" since those policies were adopted not "read carefully". Am I right?

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Pursuance is not a common word. I've only heard it in the context of the law and legal documents and I can't remember using it myself. It's unlikely that a textbook on economics would use it.

Paraphrasing the sentence --

'For economic reasons the politicians felt compelled to read the policies of LPG carefully.'

-- it makes sense to me.

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    What about simply changing "perusal" to "pursuit" in the original sentence? Would that work? Nov 7, 2022 at 5:54
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    @MarcInManhattan If they were pursuing them rather than perusing them, yes! It didn't occur to me but that certainly makes more sense. Nov 8, 2022 at 4:50
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I don't know where you found your definition of persusal, but I wouldn't say that it meant "read carefully". This is the Cambridge Dictionary definition:

the action of reading through something, especially to find the part you are interested in

So, when you peruse a document, you are not reading it carefully, you are scanning it to find specific information.

Looking at your sentence, the politicians were reading LPG policies because they had to, for economic reasons, rather than because they wanted to. They skimmed through the documents looking for the specific information that they needed to know.

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