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Hello, All.

I'm new to this site, so I apologize if this post violates the rules. However, if this is permitted, I wondered if someone could offer their opinion on the following, from a newspaper article about a high school athlete:

"The center had seen UConn prior but said the school's proximity to his hometown isn't as big of a factor to his decision making as some may think."

IMO, the reporter is misusing "prior," an adjective, when he should be using "previously," an adverb, to modify the verb "seen."

[That said, I also would've preferred "visited" to "seen." Also, if I were the editor, I would've substituted "much" for "big," and changed "factor to" to "factor in." Maybe also changed "may" to "might." Maybe these usages don't violate any strict grammar rules, but, IMO, they seem at least slightly ungrammatical.]

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Hello, Nutmegger, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

@Nutmegger posted:

I'm new to this site, so I apologize if this post violates the rules.

As long as you state your opinion, in this case as to how the text can be improved — which you have done —, you are not infringing any of our rules. However, what you should have done is include the source, which I think is this one.

@Nutmegger posted:

"The center had seen UConn prior but said the school's proximity to his hometown isn't as big of a factor to his decision making as some may think."

IMO, the reporter is misusing "prior," an adjective, when he should be using "previously," an adverb, to modify the verb "seen."

[That said, I also would've preferred "visited" to "seen." Also, if I were the editor, I would've substituted "much" for "big," and changed "factor to" to "factor in." Maybe also changed "may" to "might." Maybe these usages don't violate any strict grammar rules, but, IMO, they seem at least slightly ungrammatical.]

I agree with most of your objections and proposals. I think the reporter wrote "seen" because, earlier in the text, he mentioned that the player had only seen the campus virtually.

Apart from your comments, I think that "said" should have resulted in backshifting what follows:

- The center had seen UConn previously but said the school's proximity to his hometown wasn't as/so big a factor in his decision making as some might think.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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