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Convincing power of the proposal?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by popup, May 4, 2013.

  1. popup Senior Member

    Chinese
    If I'd like to express that a proposal is unconvincing because it is based on some outdated statistics, can I say it in this way? Is the expression idiomatic to native English speaker?

    The convincing power of the proposal is undermined because it is based on some outdated statistics.

    Thank you a lot in advance! :p
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    It sounds awkward to me; I would use a slight modification of your explanation:

    The proposal is unconvincing because it is based on outdated statistics.
     
  3. popup Senior Member

    Chinese
    Hi Copyright,

    Now I know "the convincing power of the proposal" is awkward to native English speakers. Thanks a lot for your instruction!

    I'm sorry that I didn't express myself correctly. If I'd like to express that the proposal is becoming less convincing because of some reason (like the outdated stastics), and I'd like to emphasize the negative impact on the proposal (for example, something is undermined...), is the sentence below idiomatic?

    The credibility of the proposal is greatly undermined when people find it is based on outdated statistics.
     
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Because of the verb tenses it sounds like a general statement, rather than a specific statement such as this:
    The credibility of the proposal will be greatly undermined when people find out it is based on outdated statistics.

    As a general statement, I would change "the" to "a":
    The credibility of a proposal is greatly undermined when people find it is based on outdated statistics.
     
  5. popup Senior Member

    Chinese
    Hi Copyright,

    Thank you soooooo much that you replied to my queston so quickly! I think I've learnt more from you!

    I notice that you change the tense to "will be" in the specific statement. Then should I also use future tense for this sentence of a specific statement?

    Since people have found out that the proposal is based on some outdated statistics, the credibility of the proposal will be / is greatly undermined.
     
  6. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    You can use other tenses than future, of course. The future tense could be used in a warning to the committee, for example: "The credibility ... will be undermined ..."

    But past tense is fine, too:
    The credibility of the proposal was greatly undermined when people found out it was based on outdated statistics.
     
  7. popup Senior Member

    Chinese
    OK, I see. I really appreciate your patient explanation and instruction to me!! :)
     

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