English Grammar

English Grammar

Postby Ann on Fri May 08, 2015 12:56 pm

Dear Prof.
Those scholars who believe that the true author of the poem died in 1812 consider the authenticity of this particular manuscript suspect because it includes references to events that occurred in 1818.
Can you tell me whether "suspect" is appropriate form of the word in this sentence or not?
Thank you very much
Ann
 

Re: English Grammar

Postby prof on Tue May 12, 2015 1:47 am

'Suspect' means that one has a reasonable doubt that something is true. If the poem refers to something that happened six years after the supposed author's death, then the authenticity is not doubted, it is proven false. Therefore, if these references are clear and unambiguous, you can say

'Those scholars who believe that the true author of the poem died in 1812 deny the authenticity of this particular manuscript because it includes references to events that occurred in 1818.'

However, if the references may describe events in 1818 but do not certainly do so, you need to say that instead.

'Those scholars who believe that the true author of the poem died in 1812 consider the authenticity of this particular manuscript suspect due to possible references to events that occurred in 1818.'

However, as the sentence stands, 'suspect' is not a good word to use.
prof
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