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Grammar Question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LazyReporter, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. LazyReporter

    LazyReporter Member

    For all you copy eds out there...

    The playbook, and each of the plays therein, was barred by the association.

    or

    The playbook, and each of the plays therein, were barred by the association.
     
  2. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    Were ... and lose the commas.
     
  3. LazyReporter

    LazyReporter Member

    Thanks. The rules about subject-verb agreement when using "each" still confuses me. :-[
     
  4. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    The word "and" makes it a plural entity.
     
  5. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    It's was.

    "and each of the plays therein" is a dependent clause, a secondary thought to the main concept of the playbook. Therefore, the playbook was barred by the association.

    The only way it is were is if "each of the plays therein" is a crucial thought, critical to the news of the sentence, if it's important to the entirety of the statement, in which case you would lose the commas.
     
  6. Paper Dragon

    Paper Dragon Member

    Even better:

    The association banned the playbook and all of the rules inside.
     
  7. Paper Dragon

    Paper Dragon Member

    I think Dickens' point was it shouldn't have been a separated clause in the first place. Otherwise you're correct, as I understand it.
     
  8. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    Which is why it's were and you lose the commas. With them, it's an awkward sentence.

    In fact, why do you even need it? The dependent clause is redundant. The playbook already encompasses all the plays.

    Just rewrite the sentence, sans the plays part.
     
  9. LazyReporter

    LazyReporter Member

    This is better, especially since I'm still confused. Thanks for the edit.

    It's necessary to qualify that all the plays are banned because there had been a suggestion to put some of the plays from the banned playbook in a new playbook.
     
  10. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    This is 100 percent correct. And if it's important to qualify that the plays themselves were banned, then I'd use the sentence you originally posted. Don't modify it. Just use was.
     
  11. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    Why? It's awkward writing.
     
  12. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    That's true. It would depend on the context of the story, I think. If it's a longer piece, I'd prefer to use the sentence as it is written rather than something like "The association banned the playbook and all the plays."

    If it's a six-inch brief, I'd be more apt to use the sentence I just constructed.
     
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