abandon completely vs completely abandon

Ral.G

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.
I have a small problem with the use of "abandon completely" in this sentence:

"The country was afraid of a pandemic, so the island and its citizens were abandoned completely."

Yes. I do realize that the proper term is "completely abandoned", but, for some reason, I feel like "abandoned completely" should also be correct in this context. It seems to have more impact this way.

Does anyone care to clarify this to me?

Thank you.
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, Ral. :)

    Please tell us where you found this sentence: title, author. Can you also give us the two or three sentences that came just before this one (context is helpful). You're permitted to quote as many as four sentences from your source.
     

    Ral.G

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you. :)

    It's part of a dialog from a certain manga.
    The references are rather scattered throughout the script, but I guess these should do:

    "Ultimately, the government decided to close off the harbor that connects to Amakura island."
    "After that, there was a gag order regarding the island and no more information came in."
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Note, however, that "abandoned completely" is like "completely destroyed."

    If a place is abandoned, everybody has left. Ergo, "completely" doesn't add anything, since there's nobody left to leave.
     

    Ral.G

    Senior Member
    Polish
    That doesn't add a lot.

    I think that either "abandoned completely" or "completely abandoned" works.
    The general context is:

    There's this (fictional) Japanese island. During/after World War II many people from neighbouring countries drifted ashore it. They chose to stay and live there. Currently over a half of its inhabitants is not of Japanese descent, so the island is a bit on the outside (they're like their own little country).
    One day, an unknown virus spreads there, starting to kill people. There is no cure for it yet. Japan is afraid that the virus will spread and cause a pandemic, so they block all sea communication with the island. They abandon it and its citizens completely.


    Note, however, that "abandoned completely" is like "completely destroyed."

    If a place is abandoned, everybody has left. Ergo, "completely" doesn't add anything, since there's nobody left to leave.
    The citizens were abandoned by their country. Nobody left.
    In this context it shouldn't be redundant.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    With both word orders the main stress is on the final word, and this tends to present the newer or more prominent or more contrastive information. This makes a slight difference in emphasis:

    They were abandoned completely: Not only were they were abandoned, but the process was carried out completely, not just partially.
    They were completely abandoned: They weren't just left alone for a while, they were abandoned.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't understand how the island can be abandoned (*with completely in either place) if it is still populated by its citizens. If they have removed the citizens, then the citizens have not been abandoned. :eek: They can't both be true at the same time.
     

    Ral.G

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I don't understand how the island can be abandoned (*with completely in either place) if it is still populated by its citizens. If they have removed the citizens, then the citizens have not been abandoned. :eek: They can't both be true at the same time.
    They were abandoned by their country. When an unknown virus started killing people on the island, all means of contact (and travel) were cut off from it. Thus, abandoning the people "completely".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    They were abandoned by their country. When an unknown virus started killing people on the island, all means of contact (and travel) were cut off from it. Thus, abandoning the people "completely".
    It also says "The island was abandoned." Regardless of who it was abandoned by, an abandoned location has no people.
     

    Ral.G

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It also says "The island was abandoned." Regardless of who it was abandoned by, an abandoned location has no people.
    The word has several meanings, why are you trying to convince me otherwise?

    This is the correct one:
    "1. To withdraw one's support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert: abandon a friend in trouble." (American Heritage Dictionary)
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The word has several meanings, why are you trying to convince me otherwise?

    This is the correct one:
    "1. To withdraw one's support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert: abandon a friend in trouble." (American Heritage Dictionary)
    Now that we've finally wheedled some context, the wordiness still remains.

    If a country has withdrawn support, there's no support left to withdraw.,
     

    Ral.G

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Now that we've finally wheedled some context, the wordiness still remains.

    If a country has withdrawn support, there's no support left to withdraw.,
    Yes, and "completely" puts and emphasis on that.
    Actually, "the country" went a little bit further - not only has it withdrawn its support, it also blocked all means of travel to and communication with the island.
     
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