Saturday, January 12, 2013

Omit needless

For future reference, no. You can't just take words out at random and expect meaning to same as before you.

The deck refers to a complementized active clause in a quote in the third graf of the lede story:

"The vice president made it clear, made it explicitly clear, that the president had already made up his mind on those issues," NRA president David Keene said following the meeting.

Meaning that when we turn it into a passive for the deck, we do so by saying that the president's mind is "already made up," not that it's "already made." That's what phrasal verbs do. They get their meaning from the unblest union of verb and preposition. You can call the local paper and annouce the date on which you plan to kick off your fundraising drive, but if you expect to be understood, don't say it's the date on which you'll kick the fundraising drive.

There are isolated cases in which the preposition really is useless; "serve up" is how headlines say "serve" if you feel like sounding more colloquial than you really are. "Make" and "make up" can even overlap on matters like making (up) the bed; that seems to be mostly a dialect thing. But on making up the mind -- no. Dropping the preposition is cheating. Don't.


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