the starting block


Senior Member
Italiano, Italia
These simple, compelling questions are the starting block of the study of the boundaries between markets and organizations which was initiated by the Nobel Laureate Coase.

Is "which was" necessary here?
I don't like the expression "starting block", but I can't think to alternatives. Any idea?
  • From the Free Dictionary:

    A starting block: The beginning of a period of time or an endeavor.
    You could say: first steps, foundation, etc., but I see nothing wrong with the original expression.

    I guess you might replace "which was" by a comma, but that would make the meaning of the sentence a bit less clear.
    Hi, Liz :)

    I believe you're right about prompting the study - the idea hadn't crossed my mind :eek:, but maybe "hypotheses" is not the perfect word to match "compelling questions," at least, not without rewording the sentence even more?
    This is a little picky, but I see a distinction between "starting point" and "prompted". Prompted implies that the questions were the reason that someone decided to start the study. "Starting block" or "starting point" doesn't make that assumption. Something else could have been the reason for the study, and the questions are just the thing that the person doing the study decided to start with and look at first.
    Sunkitty/Trisia too- ran out of time before work-

    This is what I was getting at, compelling questions lead to hypotheses which lead to studies to determine if the questions and hypothesis posed, have any validity.

    How about... these simple, compelling questions were the catalyst that lead Nobel Laureate Coase to study boundaries between markets and organizations.