by supporting vs. in support of

Discussion in 'English Only' started by LQZ, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Dear all,

    The quote is taken from my textbook. Now I just want to know whether I can use in support of to substitute for by supporting without changing meaning, because , to me, they are possibly interchangeable, but I am not sure if there is semantic nuance between them. Could you kindly clarify it to me? Thanks.


    LQZ
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  2. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    I don't think the meaning is significantly changed by writing in support of. But there is a big semantic difference in that in by supporting there is an emphasis on how they acquiesced.
    The phrase in support of shifts the emphasis to prejudices.
     
  3. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Thank you, e2efour.

    Since I am not a native speaker, sometimes I can't feel the feeling (difference) you mentioned. Could you explain further to me? Thanks.
     
  4. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    The two don't usually mean the same at all. Maybe two sentences might show the difference:

    They showed their annoyance at tax rises by supporting the postmen in their strike.

    They showed their annoyance at tax rises by writing letters to the government in support of the postmen's strike.

    Does that help?
     
  5. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Yes, it makes sense to me, thank you, timpeac.:)
     
  6. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    There is a big difference, LQZ, as others have said.

    In
    (1) the union had acquiesced ... by supporting the imposition of an alien tax
    by supporting the alien tax is the way in which the union acquiesced.

    (2) Where once the union had acquiesced to the prejudices of its English-speaking members in support of the imposition of an alien tax
    Here, in support of qualifies 'prejudices': the members were in favour of an alien tax.
     
  7. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Loob, thank you, I've got it. :)
     

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