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#168086 05/05/07 06:10 AM
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heni79 Offline OP
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Hello linguaphiles!

I'm back with a few more linguistic dilemmas. I hope
you will be able to help. I'm writing an academic
paper and have just received some feedback on my
current draft. There are a few things I haven't been
able to solve or figure out on my own. Here are the
problems I need your help with:

1.) Consider the following sentence: "The
internationalization theories focusing on
multinational companies are often called the economic approach." My professor has marked this sentence and commented that the English here is wrong. For the life of me I can't figure out what is wrong and why? Can you?

2.) Consider the following: "Europe is often
overlooked when going international. While being
closest and therefore more economically achievable, it
is a mixture of different cultures to master." My
professor has marked the word "achievable" and stated
that this is the wrong word. Why is it wrong to use
achievable in this sentence (I thought it was a good
choice)? Can you suggest better alternatives?

3.) Consider the following sentence: "The purpose of a
case study is not to generalize the results of the
study, but rather to give good theoretical statements
based on the study results." My professor has marked
"good theoretical statements based on the study
results" and commented that it doesn't good. Do you
agree? And if so, how would you formulate this
sentence?

4.) Consider the following sentence: "Besides, every
stage of this process involves a good knowledge of international business environments, such as political, economic, legal and cultural issues." My professor has crossed out "a" before "good knowledge". Is it really wrong to use "a" here? If yes, why?

I really hope you will be able to help and offer your
opinions. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Happy weekend, Heni

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First question; what kind of professor is this? English? Linguistics? Economics?

Statement 1) looks like the kind that a rabid prescrip would gladly expend the effort required to misunderstand. The juncture of "multinational companies" and "are often called the economic approach" lends itself to this purposeful misunderstanding. Beyond that I leave it to the more attuned to this sort of thing to comment.

Regarding statement 2) I might suggest 'accessible' rather than 'achievable.'

Statement 3) is a little awkward but it would take some thought to fix it.

The "a" in statement 4) looks perfectly good to me but I might change "knowledge" to "understanding".

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heni79 Offline OP
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Thank you very much, Faldage, for your input. I'm writing a paper in Economics, and my professor is a professor of Economics. He earned his PhD at Columbia University (in the States), so I strongly suspect he is fluent in English. Even though I am not writing a paper in English or Linguistics, my professor tends to place great emphasis on the language of the paper.

Heni

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For 3 the sentance might look neater if you drop the last "study" since it is obvious what results you mean.

"The purpose of a case study is not to generalize the results of the study, but rather to give good theoretical statements
based on the results."

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I still think it's a little awkward and probably doesn't even say what's meant. See if this is what should really be said:

"The purpose of a case study in not just to generate results, but rather to give data on which good theoretical statements can be based."

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[Shifting to hypercritical mode to try to discern the heartburn sources:]

1.) The snag seems to be converting a multiple (theories) into a singular thing (approach); not wrong but arguably awkward.

2.) 'Achievable' carries an expectation of regard to some sort of action; to characterize Europe as achievable sounds a bit non-sequitur.

3.) For a study to "give...statements" smacks of being too direct a relation, such as by cause and effect. An improvement could be for a study to 'form the basis of theories' or 'illustrate trends'.

4.) Again, not really wrong, but knowledge being like 'stuff' makes the 'a' a bit off. Possibly better would be 'thorough knowledge' sans 'a'; Fal's suggestion was even better.


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I know nothing about the subject and what the jargon and "stock phrases" might be, but going purely on logic alone:

1) Taking out the qualifying clause, we have "The
internationalization theories are often called the economic approach." I don't see how theories can be an approach. Things are not a process. Something more like "Theorizing on internationalization is often called the economic approach."
It seems unlikely like that "the economic approach" consists of all possible "internationalization theories focusing on
multinational companies" which I think the sentence could imply.

2) Depends on your meaning: viable, feasible, valuable?

3) Let's substitute some words: The purpose of a story is not to summarize itself. Tautology. That's not a very informative statement. As far as "good", are "good theoretical statements" good in theory or good in practice? What kind of good, i.e. would just changing good to something more specific help?

4) Is there more than one kind of "good knowledge"? Every stage involves six good knowledges of ... Again good is vague. And is there more than one international business environment? Would "involves in-depth knowledge of the international business environment" be better?

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Faldages version is definitely an improvement over mine. Much neater.

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heni79 Offline OP
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I have been absent from the boards for a few days, but I was really excited to see so many responses to my linguistic dilemmas. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts! You have all been so helpful in my quest to figure out how to improve my paper. I owe you big time! :-) Thanks, guys!

Heni


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