appositive

cheshire

Senior Member
Japanese
1) Prime Minister, Tony Blair, presided over the conference.
2) Prime Minister Tony Blair presided over the conference.

Why is it that 2) is the only correct choice? Everyone is supposed to know that Tony Blair is the current president of the GB. I think the sentence can convey the meaning clearly without "the restrictive appositive." Why is 1) wrong?
 
  • cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Question 2:
    3) Wordsworth wrote his long autobiographical poem "The Prelude" over many years.
    4) Wordsworth wrote his long autobiographical poem, "The Prelude", over many years.

    Why is it that 4) is wrong? Suppose Wordsworth wrote his autobiography just once, and his only autobiographical poem. Without the information of the title "The Prelude" the sentence seems complete.
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    cheshire said:
    1) Prime Minister, Tony Blair, presided over the conference.
    2) Prime Minister Tony Blair presided over the conference.
    "Prime Minister" here actually acts as an adjective describing Tony Blair. It is his title. The same thing occurs when saying "President Bush" or "King Henry." A comma would be needed if it were:

    The Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, presided over the conference.

    Here, we've made "Prime Minister" a noun, to which Tony be comes appositive.

    The President, George Bush, ...
    The King of England, Henry IV, ...

    cheshire said:
    3) Wordsworth wrote his long autobiographical poem "The Prelude" over many years.
    4) Wordsworth wrote his long autobiographical poem, "The Prelude", over many years.
    Here, I agree with you. If indeed Wordsworth had only one long autobiographical poem, then "The Prelude" can be excluded from the sentence; hence, the commas are needed, and there is apposition. I suppose since you say 4 is wrong that Wordsworth must've written more than one autobiographical poem. Or maybe "long" is considered too subjective and could refer to multiple autobiographical poems. I don't know.


    Brian
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    (1)The President, George Bush, ...
    (3)The King of England, Henry IV, ...

    Thank you very much, Brian.

    (1)The President, George Bush,
    (2)The presidnt, George Bush.

    (3)The King of England, Henry IV, ...
    (4) The king of England, Henry IV

    Which are better, between 1 and 2; and 3 and 4?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    cheshire said:
    Thank you very much, Brian.

    (1)The President, George Bush,
    (2)The presidnt, George Bush.

    (3)The King of England, Henry IV, ...
    (4) The king of England, Henry IV

    Which are better, between 1 and 2; and 3 and 4?
    (3), not (4). I would expect also (1), not (2).

    For information, Tony Blair does not have the title Prime Minister in the same way that George Bush has the title President. I mean that he is the Prime Minister, but his formal title is not Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    Although you will often read Prime Minister Tony Blair, that is media shorthand (and US influence) in the same way that you would find me listed as Aging Porn Star Panjandrum if you looked in the wrong kind of press.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    When referring to a specific US president, you would always capitalize the word President, i.e. "The President, George Bush, once again has made a major gaffe..."




    P.S. panj, that was an overshare! :eek:
     

    bartonig

    Senior Member
    UK English
    This is correct and Prime Minister and Tony Blair are restrictive appositives:

    2) Prime Minister Tony Blair presided over the conference.

    Strictly speaking, though, it is needed only in situational contexts which feature more than one prime minister. Then Prime Minister Tony Blair restricts the person to Tony Blair.

    The non-restrictive apposition would be:

    The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, presided over the conference.

    The writer here is not concerned about identifying a particular PM among many but rather in identifying the person. Infact, with non-restrictives, you can often eliminate either of the appositives leaving sentences with identical meaning:

    Tony Blair presided over the conference.
    The Prime Minister presided over the conference.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    panjandrum said:
    Although you will often read Prime Minister Tony Blair, that is media shorthand (and US influence) in the same way that you would find me listed as Aging Porn Star Panjandrum if you looked in the wrong kind of press.
    I didn't realise the elderly were being supplied with "Aging Porn" = but I suppose that what they call The Grey Pound will attract people trying to part these lonely souls from their cash.

    I'm wondering if finding you in a press would be similar to having a skeleton in the cupboard?
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    1) The president George Bush [with "president" not capitalized]
    2) The President Goerge BUsh [with "president" capitalized]

    What about it withoug a comma? Which is correct?

    Thank you all for your help!
     
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