a society of ruthless competition?

Hi,guys.
Please tell me whether I can shorten "a society full of ruthless competition" to simply "a society of ruthless competition"? Much of the time, I hate myself for lack of that good feel for the English language. Every day I read English and watch CNN or abcNews, but still I fail to achieve a high level of English proficiency. How desperate I am now to develop at least part of the linguistic intuition native speakers of English have.
Thanks.
Richard
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think it may work.

    How about giving us the whole sentence, as you want to write it, so we can be sure.
     
    I think it may work.

    How about giving us the whole sentence, as you want to write it, so we can be sure.
    Hi, Cagey.Thanks for replying to my question. Let me tell you the whole story. I am a Chinese teacher teaching English at a college in eastern China. This semester one of the seniors choose to write about The Call of the Wild by Jack London in her graduation paper(In China every senior, whatever his or her major is, is required to write an academic paper for the bachelor's degree and English majors are to finish a paper of about 3,000 to 5,000 English words). She submitted her outline to me yesterday but I found her conclusion was poorly worded. It goes like this: " 'Survival of the Fittest'--All living creatures have to obey different laws in different environments.One has to struggle for existence under extremely poor living conditions. Only when you beat others, you could survive." I wanted to change the whole conclusion to "Through the novel Jack London affirms the law of the jungle that in a society full of ruthless competition it is always the fittest/fiercest who will survive. In such a society, one has to struggle under extremely poor living conditions and only when one beats others can one survive." When I came to the point of "a society full of ruthless competition", I instantly thought of being more concise by shortening "a society full of ruthless competition" to "a society of ruthless competition".
    Besides, I would like you to improve my version of the conclusion if you have the time.
    Many thanks.
    Richard
     
    Last edited:
    How about
    a ruthlessly competitive society
    Thanks, Riverby. Your version is certainly better. And I know "a society full of ruthless competition" is another correct expression. But I just would like to know whether you native speakers of English say "a society of ruthless competition" or "a society of competition". I care more about the acceptability of this shortened phrasal structure. Please help me with it.
    Thanks.
    Richard
     

    Riverby

    Senior Member
    NZ English
    "A society of ruthless competition" sounds OK. But "a society of competition" seems to me a clumsy wording. It invites comparison with phrases such as a "society of ants" or a "society of oligarchs", where the last word of the phrase tells you what/who the society is made up of.
     
    "A society of ruthless competition" sounds OK. But "a society of competition" seems to me a clumsy wording. It invites comparison with phrases such as a "society of ants" or a "society of oligarchs", where the last word of the phrase tells you what/who the society is made up of.
    Thanks for your GREAT explanation. I was much too focused on the acceptability of the structure while neglecting the possible misleading meaning of "society of competition". Thank you for reminding me of it.
    I have another follow-up question: can we "a society of ruthless competitiveness" to express the same idea?
    Thanks.
    Richard
     
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