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Assistance specifically with English, of course :) for a new Area-51 proposal. An Architecture Stack Exchange site launched (1) very recently (definition phase), but the proposal contains slightly flawed English, which could be better worded. [ Building architecture that is, not software. I was quite surprised to see that such a site did not exist already for a long time! ]

So my question: would it be appropriate to post said wording on ELL, requesting suggestions for improvement ?

This seems like a mutually supportive idea for any Stack Site generally. Note also that said question would be posted (by me) on behalf of that site's initiator, who may or may not learn of this question until after the fact, when I would bring the results to his or her attention.


(1 Though I am very interesting in seeing the site succeed, this post is not intended as an indirect plug ... that's why I've not linked to it. If you are interested, please, you'll have to hunt for it :-P )

  • I was quite surprised to see that such a site did not exist already for a long time! Is that the sentence you're asking about? If so, try I was quite surprised to learn that such a site does not exist yet! – J.R. Sep 25 '13 at 19:38
  • @J.R. hey, that sounds like just an excuse to repeat, I mean, repeat yourself ;-P You're an astute person - actually that is not the sentence, but I used the same structure as the incorrect one (the weird, sort of misplaced modifier at the end :)) See Wendi's and FumbleFingers comments to Wendi's answer below... I haven't had this much fun since my first English teacher claimed to be one of the first humans from the modern era... – Howard Pautz Sep 26 '13 at 17:54
  • RE: I haven't had this much fun since my first English teacher claimed to be one of the first humans from the modern era. Howard, I can't tell if you are marveling at how much fun you're having now, or it that's merely an indictment on how little fun you've had over the past four or five decades. ;^) – J.R. Sep 26 '13 at 19:42
  • @J.R. wahoo and hoehum ! – Howard Pautz Sep 30 '13 at 23:37
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If you had a specific question about the grammaticality of one sentence in the proposal, that would be a valid ELL question. Posting the entire description and asking for edits, though, would fall under proofreading questions, which are off topic.

However this is the kind of thing where you could probably ping a native speaker in chat and ask them to take a look at it, if they have time. I'm sure you'd be able to find someone willing to help :) Questions which are not necessarily allowed to be posted on ELL can still be asked in chat, so that's probably your best bet.

(I was actually going to go take a look at it for you myself, but I can't find the description. I see the short little tag-line, but not how to edit it. I'm not sure if this is because my area51 rep is super low, or because I just don't know how the site functions. But I tried!)

  • thx for looking and attempting it @Wendi - yes you did find it - the tag line is all that's there :)) Re proof reading - good thing I asked! LOL ... To your first point (and not to work the system here), if the question were phrased along the lines of "What is grammatically incorrect in this sentence?" would that fly ? Having tutored English in another country as a native speaker, I find the phrase used in the initial tag line to be representative of a series of common mistakes. So posting the question could be exemplary. Your thoughts please. – Howard Pautz Sep 25 '13 at 18:42
  • I imagine OP is concerned about ...architecture since first humans to modern era in the tag-line (where from the would be better). But I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to explicitly cite that in what would essentially be a "peeve" question here on ELL. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 25 '13 at 18:44
  • @HowardPautz "What is grammatically incorrect" is not okay, but "Is [x] grammatically correct" (or "Is [x] grammatically incorrect" is fine. You just have to point out specifically what you're concerned about :) If you have a specific concern about this single sentence, feel free to post the question! – WendiKidd Sep 25 '13 at 20:51
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    @FumbleFingers What do you mean by a "peeve" question? I suppose there's some debate about this phrasing I'm unaware of? Personally, I think it reads oddly even if you fix that: ...architecture from the first humans to the modern era still sounds wrong to me, because it attributes architecture to both humans and an era (the first of which made the architecture and the second of which is simply the period when it existed). So I'd (personally) want to rephrase the sentence altogether. But I am curious as to what you were referring to in your comment! – WendiKidd Sep 25 '13 at 20:54
  • And now it is becoming clear why I wanted to post the sentence :)) I'd like to hear ideas too. Fumble posted the errant clause - here's the full tag line: Proposed Q&A site for everyone who is interested in architecture since first humans to modern era. – Howard Pautz Sep 26 '13 at 17:58
  • @HowardPautz I'd go with something like "Proposed Q&A site for everyone who is interested in architecture spanning from the beginning of human civilization to the modern era." Still sounds wordy, but... I'm not sure how to make it less wordy in a single sentence! – WendiKidd Sep 26 '13 at 22:44
  • @WendiKidd I can make it less wordy! "Proposed Q&A site for anyone interested in architecture, from ancient to modern." (I'm not saying my version is an improvement, but it's shorter for sure! :-) – snailcar Sep 27 '13 at 2:39
  • @snailboat well, ya know both the "Proposed" and the "for anyone interested in" parts also seem a little weasely. Clearly all sites in Area 51 start as proposals; and who'd be looking if they weren't interested ? So how about merely "Q&A site for architecture, from ancient to modern" ? Hmmm, chop chop. Obviously, it's also both for Q&A and has to be a "site" ... so ... "Architecture, ancient to modern" Ah, what the heck, and who needs a time frame ? That leaves us with ____ LOL – Howard Pautz Sep 30 '13 at 23:45

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