Accumulation of errors

Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi, native speakers of English!

Is it OK to say that a student's delivery in an oral exam is "difficult to follow due to an accumulation of grammatical errors plus his careless fast tempo"?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    I think you mean something like "multiplicity" or, more simply, "number" (or even "lot").

    An "accumulation" is a massing-up, a making-large of something, it is not a largeness of something.
     
    "Accumulation" is possible if the grammatical errors piled up, making it progressively harder to understand what the student was saying. As the parade of errors continued, his speech became harder and harder to understand because later errors compounded the confusion caused by earlier errors. This is accumulation: a piling up, "growth by continuous addition," as the WR Dictionary says. If that is your meaning, then "accumulation" is OK. If you just mean that the delivery was hard to understand because the student made a lot of mistakes than I agree with lucas that "the number of errors" or "the large number of errors" is better.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    But an "accumulation" couldn't lead to a speech being hard to understand. It would need to have a verb expressing a progressive development to match the "accumulating" - so either the speech "became difficult" or "grew difficult" to understand, etc.
     

    bellatrix27

    Senior Member
    Russian(USSR)/English(CAN) - bilingual
    "Accumulation" is possible if the grammatical errors piled up, making it progressively harder to understand what the student was saying. As the parade of errors continued, his speech became harder and harder to understand because later errors compounded the confusion caused by earlier errors. This is accumulation: a piling up, "growth by continuous addition," as the WR Dictionary says. If that is your meaning, then "accumulation" is OK. If you just mean that the delivery was hard to understand because the student made a lot of mistakes than I agree with lucas that "the number of errors" or "the large number of errors" is better.
    Brilliant. :thumbsup:
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Good point lucas - however an accumulation can mean either the process or the result of accretion. e.g. 'I could not see through the window owing to an accumulation of dirt thereon'.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Oh, sorry. I definitely don't understand it the same way you do, Beryl - so we've probably come down to a dialect divergence!

    I would agree with "The accumulation of gunk had made it impossible to see through the window," because there's a cause-and-effect structure that bears out the change over time in "accumulation."
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accumulation :
    : something that has accumulated or has been accumulated
    2
    : the action or process of accumulating : the state of being or having accumulated
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accumulation :
    1. act or state of accumulating; state of being accumulated.

    2. that which is accumulated; an accumulated amount, number, or mass.
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/accumulation :
    The act of accumulating, the state of being accumulated, or that which is accumulated

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/accumulation :
    2. The process of growing into a large amount or heap: the steady accumulation of knowledge.
    3. An amount that has accumulated or been accumulated: an accumulation of debt; an accumulation of rubbish.
    Some support for both our viewpoints there lucas. :)
     
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