The power to seduce vs. the power seducing

nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
"Experiment where he turned the university's psychology department into a makeshift prison. Stanley Milgram made his mark with a study that examined the power of situations to seduce good people to do bad things."

Do you think that "to" comes often after "the power" is because they are idiomatically established or there are logical reaons why they are used together? I think it, technically, might have been "the power seducing good people to do bad tihngs."

source: The Influence You Have: Why We're Blind To Our Power Over Others
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I think it, technically, might have been "the power seducing good people to do bad tihngs."
    This phrase isn't grammatical.
    Do you think that "to" comes often after "the power" is because they are idiomatically established or there are logical reaons why they are used together?
    You exercise power in order to do something, meaning you exercise it for the purpose of doing something. It's established grammar.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The bold is correct grammar. The "might have been" alternative is bad grammar.

    Do you think that "to" comes often after "the power" is because they are idiomatically established
    No. "The power to seduce" is correct grammar. The same grammar is used with many other words:
    - the desire to dance
    - the need to express
    - the urge to kill
    - the ability to juggle
     
    "Experiment where he turned the university's psychology department into a makeshift prison. Stanley Milgram made his mark with a study that examined the power of situations to seduce good people to do bad things."

    Do you think that "to" comes often after "the power" is because they are idiomatically established or there are logical reaons why they are used together? I think it, technically, might have been "the power seducing good people to do bad tihngs."

    source: The Influence You Have: Why We're Blind To Our Power Over Others
    O: Stanley Milgram made his mark with a study that examined the power of situations to seduce good people to do bad things."

    Proposed {a} Stanley Milgram made his mark with a study that examined the power seducing good people to do bad things."

    That would be very awkward wording (and a different meaning)--which power is meant? Suppose we try adding 'situations" and revising:

    Proposed {b} Stanley Milgram made his mark with a study that examined the power situations have in seducing good people to do bad things."

    This is grammatical but wordy. Do you see any improvement over the original?
     
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