harmlessness / innocuousness

clapec

Senior Member
Italian
Would the words harmlessness / innocuousness be appropriate in this context? Which is the best alternative?
Thank you very much for your help!

"Amateur archaeologists were accused of damaging archaeological sites with their inexpert excavations. In response, treasure-hunters maintained the harmlessness / innocuousness and usefulness of their hobby and claimed that unearthing metal objects prevents them from being damaged by fertilizers and pesticides."
 
  • rsweet

    Senior Member
    English, North America
    clapec said:
    Would the words harmlessness / innocuousness be appropriate in this context? Which is the best alternative?
    Thank you very much for your help!

    "Amateur archaeologists were accused of damaging archaeological sites with their inexpert excavations. In response, treasure-hunters maintained the harmlessness / innocuousness and usefulness of their hobby and claimed that unearthing metal objects prevents them from being damaged by fertilizers and pesticides."
    The words "harmless" and "innocuous" are synonyms. Nonetheless, it sounds awkward to use them as nouns in this sentence. If you have the choice, I'd rephrase the sentence so that you use them as adjectives: "In response, treasure-hunters maintained that their hobby was both harmless/innocuous and useful, claiming that . . . ."

    Or maybe better, ". . . maintained that their innocuous hobby was useful by preventing metal objects from being damaged . . . ."
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top