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If I wish to state that I wish to be discipline, which of these statements are correct?

  • I wish to be discipline

  • I wish to be disciplined

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    The first version is syntactically incorrect for any meaning. The second could validly mean either I want to have [more] self-control OR I want someone to "discipline" me (implying sexual deviancy/masochism). – FumbleFingers May 20 '16 at 16:33
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    @Fumble - This may be a stretch, but the first one could be used if the speaker wanted to be discipline personified. (That would be an unusual usage, though, to say the least.) – J.R. May 20 '16 at 16:36
  • @J.R.: Yeah, that possibility did cross my mind. But I thought it was so unlikely we could reasonably ignore it in an ELL context. About as likely as Tom Snout in A Midsummer Night's Dream saying to the casting director of the "play within a play" I wish to be wall. Plausible in that context, maybe, but "syntactically incorrect" anywhere else. – FumbleFingers May 20 '16 at 16:49
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    I certainly do not wish to be discipline personified. But the second causes the reader to think I wish for an external entity to discipline me and that is not what I intended to convey. I wish to say that I will put an effort to be more diciplined – Lordbalmon May 20 '16 at 17:06
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    @Lordbalmon - Perhaps you want to say: I want to have more self-discipline. – J.R. May 20 '16 at 19:05
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Short answer: you're likely thinking of option 2.


Long answer: Unless you want to be the literal (or metaphorical, it seems) embodiment of 'discipline', whatever that would mean, then you want to go with the latter. To be disciplined can mean that you want to have rigorous control over yourself, having honed away any non-contoured facets of [yourself/a particular trait or skill/anything related to you that is not now tempered]. Additionally, you could be saying that you want someone to discipline you, which is more akin to saying that you want to be punished, which itself can range the gamut from the paternal-sense, where it's an act intended to teach a lesson, keep the discipline-ee on a certain course, and/or display repercussions for one's actions, and it goes all to the psycho-sexual aspect, where the 'discipline' is actually a vehicle for sexual gratification (think Fifty Shade Of Gray). However, whatever the case you intend to use it in, again, unless you're referring to becoming the thing itself, then it you go with the action (-ed, verb-form, 'disciplined'), while the embodied is looking to be the thing (noun-form, 'discipline').

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