phrase change help

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I have a sentence...

"although statistics indicate that [penguins] may have difficulty [flying], they do not tell the full story"

I need a replacement (or do I?) for 'do not tell the full story' - it doesn't sound academic enough to me, but I don't know if I'm being silly.


======= Date Modified 08 Aug 2011 11:23:32 =======
'However, statistics on their own do not fully explain the difficulties penguins have in this area. Statistical data were supplemented with touchy-feely qualitative data to provide a more nuanced explanation of penguin flying problems...:p

Seriously though, my supervisor is incredibly fussy. Before I started writing it wasn't an area I was worried about, now I'm not so sure. He suggested "interviewee contact information was solicited from the department..." rather than my "the researcher made contact with interviewees".

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thanks Ady...I'll steal that sentence from you :-)

My sup likes to change EVERYTHING, I am dreading seeing what she's done to my draft (even though I'm completely re-writing the 1st three chapters this week :-s )

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actually, isn't "fully explain" a split infinitive?

My mum told me about these once and I said "no one knows anything about that anymore, you're living in the dark ages" but now I worry about it!

I don't even know what a split infinitive is.

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I wikipedia'd it. I think it would be a split infinitive if it said

TO fully explain??


:-(, em I'm not sure, I know to spilt one's infinitives is not good but I don't know if 'to fully explain' is a spilt infinitive. I'll go with Oxford English Dictionaries online -

I talk about my work being a 'situated snapshot...' but I think once is enough in any thesis!

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I think I have a few 'to fully explore' in my thesis.

But if my examiners get all stressed about it, I'll just ask them to provide their feedback to me in text speak and see how they get on. I was never taught any of this stuff at school, I have no idea what an adverb is and if Word 2010 hasn't got a problem with it then I don't either.


How about "although statistics support that [penguins] have difficulty [flying], there may be some ambiguity with this interpretation". Then go on to explain the issues with this, thus defending the statement.


Agree with Dunni73 - something like statistics do not reflect the reality, complexity of the situation, etc. or similarly inconclusive. Having struggled similarly with finding a perfect phrase, stopping, and thinking over and over, instead of moving on, myself have found the book, mentioned on this forum and available on google, on Legal Writing in Plain English by Bryan A. Garner quite helpful.


how about 'there are other factors that are worthy of consideration? Ref adverbs: they are supposed to add to the verb, so in 'to fully explain', 'fully' adds to the verb, it tells you more about it. The infinitive is the verb in its raw form, a word you can put 'to' in front of as it 'to talk' to write, to walk etc. - remember when you had to congugate verbs in french? this is the bit you started with. To decide where your verb is, just see if you can conjugate the word, for example, you can't do that with 'fully', I fully, you fully etc. doesn't work, therefore this isn't the verb, on the other hand I explain, you explain etc. is fine, so this is the verb. Therefore if you have written ' to fully explain' the adverb sits in between the 'to' and the 'explain' therefore the infinitive is split. So you should put 'to explain fully', but on the other hand I think it is less important now than it used to be and sometimes not to split the infintive sounds really odd and contrived, cos it isn't how we speak nowadays. :$


Wasn't the problem with split infinitives that they couldn't be done in latin (bacause 'to explain' is one word, as it is in French) and therefore were 'wrong' in English or something? I find thet grate, just because my Mum always hammered home that they were wrong. That and 'different from' instead of 'different to'.

Sorry not got any suggestion about the actual OP. Probably because the quantitative bit of my brain is going "statistics aren't everything?!"



Quote From sneaks:

My sup likes to change EVERYTHING, I am dreading seeing what she's done to my draft (even though I'm completely re-writing the 1st three chapters this week :-s )

Hi Sneaks, just wondering if yr supervisors have given feedback on the individual chapters earlier. Since I am also completely restructuring/re-writing my 4 analysis chapters (I handed in at different times) I am bit more curious. Just hoping that I won't be asked to re-write once I submit the full draft. I was really frustrated with their feedback earlier but today they gave feedback on one of the re-written chapters and said that they liked the change/quality/standard now. This definitely gives hope for the rest 3 analysis chapters...but sometimes I feel I will never get to the supervisors too like to change everything and sometimes I just get stuck in the midst of two supervisors' contrasting comments !

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Well I gave my sup my first three chapters about 7 months ago. I got one email that showed me how to re-structure it. So I completely re-structured it based on this email. THen I gave her it about 4 months ago. She never read it. So I give her the full draft and she's now saying she doesn't like the way its structured (which was based on her recommendation). The problem is, she has a certain style, and if it doesn't conform to that then you won't be able to change her mind.

I've just had 2 other professors look through the work this week and they say its fine. Its just getting desperately frustrating at this point. I've received another email this morning saying the 4 paragraphs I wrote earlier aren't right. I just can't work out what she wants.


Thanks Sneaks for the info. I can understand...we are going through the same phase. From the way I am getting responses, I can predict a huge change in the entire draft too. :-( Hope, the things will get sorted out soon...