comma before 'or' [compound predicate]: there is, or there is not, a

Sextus

Senior Member
Spanish
"We see that in both passages Sextus makes use of the verb ...., avoiding in this way any assertion that there is, or there is not, a causal link between epoche and ataraxia."

Would you take out the commas in ", or there is not,"

Best,

Sextus
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Sextus said:
    "We see that in both passages Sextus makes use of the verb ...., avoiding in this way any assertion that there is, or there is not, a causal link between epoche and ataraxia."

    Would you take out the commas in ", or there is not,"

    Best,

    Sextus

    Definitely keep them in - but I would change "or there is not" to just "or is not."

    I'm missing the context of course, but the sentence seems illogical to me. How can he avoid asserting both that there is a link and that there is not one? If you mean that he is being noncommittal about it, then I would just say "avoiding any assertion (at all) about a link..."
     

    Sextus

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Yeah, I could perhaps say:

    "avoiding in this way any assertion about the relationship between epoche and ataraxia".

    By the way, it seems to me that you don't like the "in this way", do you?

    Best,

    Sextus
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Sextus said:
    Yeah, I could perhaps say:

    "avoiding in this way any assertion about the relationship between epoche and ataraxia".

    By the way, it seems to me that you don't like the "in this way", do you?

    Best,

    Sextus

    You're right. ;) It clunks.

    My suggestion: "thereby avoiding."

    Why did you change "a causal link" to "the relationship"? They don't mean the same thing, especially with the article change.
     

    DAH

    Senior Member
    USA/California--English
    thereby avoiding assertions as to the connection beween epoche and ataraxia is

    the period "." goes inside the quotation marks, as does the ? mark.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    DAH said:
    thereby avoiding assertions as to the connection beween epoche and ataraxia is

    I think "any assertion" is more powerful than "assertions," and "about" is clearer than "as to."

    One important observation: the change from "a" to "the" is significant. "A" just means that an assertion of this type is not made. "The" suggests that there is a connection; it's just not being addressed here. I don't know which one you intended to say, but I just wanted to point out that the article does affect the impression that the sentence gives off.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I feel the strength of the original statement is being reduced by the editing committee:) I'm thinking about the very clear statement in the original about avoiding specific positive or negative statements about the causal link.

    Here are two more possible versions.
    "We see that in both passages Sextus uses the verb ...., so/thus avoiding any assertion that there is, or is not, a causal link between epoche and ataraxia."

    "We see that Sextus uses the verb .... in both passages to avoid any assertion that there is, or is not, a causal link between epoche and ataraxia."
     
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