Nobility

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non rien!

Senior Member
English- England
Hello

I am in the middle of writing my dissertation, and am questioning the use of the word 'nobility' in this sentence.

"In addition, the wealth and social status of a defendant severely influenced his treatment in prison and the outcome of his trial; the nobility were decapitated with a sword, whereas the members of the Third Estate were hung, broken with the wheel or burnt alive."

Should I have put nobility in the singular or was I correct to use it in the plural?

Thanks
Karl
 
  • Salvage

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The sentence works and I understand it but you do shift from discussing an individual ("a defendant . . . his treatment . . .his trial") to discussing a group/category of person. There is a shift from singular subject to plural subjects. I would continue with something like ". . . a noble was decapitated with a sword, whereas a member of the Third Estate was hung . . ." This keeps the thought pattern (a single individual) the same on both sides of the semi-colon.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The first sentence altered would cure the matter of perfect plural balance; viz., In addition, the wealth and social status of defendants severely influenced their treatment in prison and the outcome of their trials. The nobility were decapitated with a sword, whereas the members of the Third Estate were hung, broken with the wheel or burnt alive."
     
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