I read somewhere that Kynesian theory was contradicted, and therefore worth to be abandoned, ...
—Dorigo G., in a comment on Paul Krugman's blog

My grammar book says that this sentence is wrong:

The car isn't worth to be repaired.

Whereas, this sentence is correct:

The car isn't worth repairing.

But in Dorigo G.'s sentence, the clause worth to be abandoned is used and this clause seems to have the same structure of worth to be repaired—e.g.,"worth to be verb-ed".

Is Dorigo G. wrong? Or are there differences between the grammar under his sentence and the grammar under the example sentences reported by my book?

  • I think it's just a "typo". Perhaps he meant to write isn't worth being repaired (which still isn't great, but at least it's not so glaringly unacceptable as what he actually ended up with). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 10 '13 at 22:17
  • This quote is from a comment on Paul Krugman's blog. The man himself said no such thing. Note that blog comments are not, as a rule, proofread and are likely to contain typos like these. – snailplane Mar 11 '13 at 3:10

I think this is just a matter of a typo in the sentence you read in the NY Times. It should have read:

I read somewhere that Kynesian theory was contradicted, and therefore worthy to be abandoned, ...

When something is said to be "worthy to be [x]", the statement is that the object possesses the innate qualities to deserve [x] happening to it. In this specific case it's not actually a positive statement, but an example of a way it might be used positively is:

The question was well-asked and provoked interesting answers. It was definitely worthy of the Nice Question badge.

Now when you say that the car isn't worth repairing, that's a little bit different. What you're saying is that it will not be a good use of your time/money/other expenditures required to fix the car for whatever reason. An example could be that it would cost $2000 to fix the car, but only $1500 to buy another car instead. So in this context, "[Object] is not worth [verb]-ing" means "It will be a waste of your [time/resources] to [verb] the [object]."

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  • 3
    +1 Actually, if OP's reporting is correct there's another typo: it should be Keynesian. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 10 '13 at 22:15