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I would like to describe the surface of an object (concretely a ball) in a scientific paper. At the moment my wording looks like this:

(...) especially since the last change of the rules which leaves 50% of the ball's surface open to any color or patterns.

Is this wording correct? Basically I want to describe that the rules for some section of scientific work have changed. Formerly objects surfaces were colored with a single color, now there are specific rules for the coloring. In this sentence I would like to describe the changes for balls: now 50% of their surface has to be white, the rest is open to any colors/scenes/patterns.

How would one word this in the correct way for a scientific paper?

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  • While I'm glad you've found an answer that works for you, you may want to wait a bit before accepting an answer - this post on meta explains why: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/q/1307
    – ColleenV
    Mar 10, 2016 at 19:04

1 Answer 1

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In your original sentence

(...) especially since the last change of the rules which leaves 50% of the ball's surface open to any color or patterns.

might be more clear with the rule change as

(...) especially since the last change of the rules which allows 50% of the ball's surface to be any color or pattern while the remaining 50% must remain white.

using allows means a different colour/pattern may be used, but not necessarily.

It is ambiguous whether the 50% must be contiguous or not.

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  • Thank you! It must not be contiguous. However, isn't the doubled use of 'remain' messy? I really like the sentence, but wouldn't be better to end it like "while the rest must be white" or "while the remaining 50% must be white"? Additionally: is "to be any color" correct? I would have written "to be of any color".
    – daniel451
    Mar 10, 2016 at 16:32
  • Any of your alternatives for "white" or "any colour" are fine, it's only stylistic. It's odd that the 50% must not be contiguous? So, half and half is not possible?
    – Peter
    Mar 10, 2016 at 17:42
  • Is I read it, "which leaves 50% of the ball's surface open" means 50% is "available", but any smaller part(s) (of this 50%) could be colored, and these if small enough don't need to be contiguous.
    – user3169
    Mar 10, 2016 at 17:55
  • Yes. It could be 100% white, it could be 70% or 60% white. Everything is fine, unless the white surface area is greater or equal to 50%. The rest of the ball can be colored with anything. A mixture of different colors or even pictures like a Nike logo.
    – daniel451
    Mar 10, 2016 at 19:04

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