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While I wouldn't argue over whether the fairy tale/Star Wars connection is farfetched, I do find the use of "ago" inelegant in the context of the snip. I try to pay attention to these intuitions as I have found that they make the difference between mediocre and excellent writing. In this regard, writing is a lot like the martial art of Kyudo.
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Fred Ridder
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 2:20 PM
To: lauren -at- writeco -dot- net; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Ago
> I substituted phrases that fit for the missing beginning and ending of
> the sentence as, "Since you modified [or began] your service less than
> 45 days ago, you must wait before making anymore [or any] changes."
> I do not like the use of "ago" because it makes me think of fairy
> tales or Star Wars, "a long time ago." I would probably change the
> snip to read "... your service within 45 days, ..." or "... your
> service within the past 45 days, ..." or "... your service start date
> is within the past 45 days, ..."
The fairly tale/Star Wars connection seems awfully far-fecthed. Don't tell me that you're also one of the people who refuse to use the word "appears" in technical documentation because it sounds like magic?
The other issue I have with your rewrite is the use of "anymore" as an adjective phrase instead of "any more", which is something of a pet peeve. "Anymore" is a perfectly good word when used as an adverb (typically a sentence adverb) to mean "any longer". But that's the only sense that is defined in any of my dictionaries. When used as an adjective phrase (e.g., "I don't have any more patience today.") or as a noun phrase (e.g., "We couldn't buy any more no matter what the price.") it's two words.
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