3

With these sentences

1) Whereas the ideas of X, which navigates tradeoffs in sharing context summaries among IoT devices are conceptually explained and mathematically formulated with the X theory, ...

I see that ", which ... devices" is a full sentence when I replace which with it; I think I can remove it. So, I think I can add one more comma to show that it is removable.

2) Whereas the ideas of X, which navigates tradeoffs in sharing context summaries among IoT devices, are conceptually explained and mathematically formulated with the X theory, ...

Is there any change in meaning between 1) and 2)? If so why? If not, which is better 1) or 2) (or grammatically correct)?

  • Two commas for sure, but they are both wrong IMO. The subject is 'ideas', which is plural, and the verb 'navigate' should therefore also be plural. If 'navigates' applies to 'X' the sentence should be restructed or split, or the 'navigates' clause placed in parentheses. – user207421 Jul 26 '16 at 8:01
  • I find the whole sentence very unclear. In particular, it looks like the parenthetical "which..." refers to X, whereas the subject of the sentence as a whole is the ideas. I'd rephrase the whole thing as "X navigates blah. The ideas of X are... formulated in X theory. On the other hand, ..." – David Richerby Jul 26 '16 at 8:13
3

There's no difference in meaning between number one and number two. Number two is the one that's correct; number one would simply be regarded as an error. It's kind of like not putting a period at the end of a sentence.

The clause beginning with which is extra information that doesn't change the meaning of the sentence. Typically, when you have a nonrestrictive clause in the middle of a sentence, you place a comma at the beginning and at the end of the clause.

What bothers me much more than the missing comma is the use of whereas, which signals that you are comparing/contrasting two different ideas. I don't see that in your example.

Without removing whereas from the sentence it could be re-written a number of ways:

Whereas the ideas of X are conceptually explained and mathematically formulated with the X theory, which navigates tradeoffs in sharing context summaries among IoT devices.

Whereas the ideas of X—which navigates tradeoffs in sharing context summaries among IoT devices—are conceptually explained and mathematically formulated with the X theory.

Whereas the ideas of X (which navigates tradeoffs in sharing context summaries among IoT devices) are conceptually explained and mathematically formulated with the X theory.

Nonetheless, I think whereas should be removed, making it:

The ideas of X, which navigates tradeoffs in sharing context summaries among IoT devices, are conceptually explained and mathematically formulated with the X theory.

To me, that sounds much better.

  • Regarding whereas, note the asker's quotes end in ellipses, so the contrasting clause(s) are probably omitted. Also, I completely agree with you that the phrase in question is a parenthetical and should have a comma before and after it. That said, I think usage is moving away from us, including in published works and journalism. And that's on top of people continuing to use impact as a verb. The end times are upon us. – Todd Wilcox Jul 26 '16 at 5:52
  • Note that "the X theory" should almost certainly be just "X theory". I can't think of a single theory that's called "something theory" that takes an article in general usage. – David Richerby Jul 26 '16 at 8:14
  • @ToddWilcox where do you see ellipses? – Giambattista Jul 26 '16 at 20:13
  • @Giambattista At the end of both block quotes in the question, after "X theory," in both cases. Do you not see them? – Todd Wilcox Jul 26 '16 at 21:03
  • @DavidRicherby You could have a point, but note that [something] theory can sometimes take a definite article; the most obvious example would be the Big bang Theory (the actual theory, not just the TV show). There are also Theory of Relativity, the Intromission Theory, the Emission theory, etc.* – Giambattista Jul 26 '16 at 21:03
1

The first sentence is incorrect. The second sentence corrects the first sentence by creating a relative clause ("which...devices"). The sentence is complete without the clause.

  • 1
    I kind of struggled with what to do with …the ideas of X, which navigate tradeoffs… At first I thought the same as you regarding subject-verb agreement (i.e. the ideas…navigate), but I'm not sure that ideas is meant to agree with navigates. Instead, it very well could be X that's agreeing with navigates. I don't think it's necessarily a S-V agreement isssue. – Giambattista Jul 26 '16 at 2:05
  • Good point. I've removed that part of the answer. – clusterdude Jul 26 '16 at 3:35

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