'Looked askance' in passive voice

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Doofy

Member
English - US
I see 'looked askance' in the dictionary: "he looked askance at the offer"

Now in editing I have the following sentence: "Although case reports are looked askance in scientific discourse, they may pose questions that deserve further inquiry."

Google shows no really authoritative source for 'looked askance' in passive voice; some examples say 'is looked askance upon," but that seems awkward, especially in my sentence. Nor is it an ideal to recast the sentence in active voice: "Although scientists look askance at case reports..."

Thoughts? I'm tempted to leave my sentence as written. Or would "are looked at askance" be better?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The sentence as it stands is wrong, as 'looked' is not transitive. It does need the preposition 'at' (or possibly 'on', 'upon', but I prefer 'at') whether in the active or the passive: I would use 'are looked askance at' if you need to keep that idiom, though you're right that the whole thing sounds iffy.
     

    MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    'are looked at askance in scientific discourse...'

    = are looked at with an attitude or look of suspicion or disapproval in scientific discourse...
     

    Susie Sunshine

    New Member
    English
    it's a particularly tricky word and one that I haven't come across often. I would personally go for scrapping the word all together, and opting for something such as 'although case reports are often suspiciously viewed in scientific discourse, they may pose questions that deserve further inquiry.' It may not flow as smoothly but I would rather take that than risk using a word that others might recognise as being used incorrectly.
     

    Doofy

    Member
    English - US
    Thanks folks,

    See, it's a tough one! Entangledbank and MBK are on the right track, I think. Further Googling found this example...from no less an authority than Garrison Keillor!

    I come from Minnesota, where it's considered shameful to be shameless, where modesty is always in fashion, where self-promotion is looked at askance.
    Thus I am changing to, "Although case reports are looked at askance in scientific discourse...." I'd probably have switched to active voice, had that been an option. Thanks again for your input!
     
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