Re: Pet Peeves

Subject: Re: Pet Peeves
From: Jim Porter <jporter -at- MACE -dot- CC -dot- PURDUE -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1993 13:41:18 EST

>I explode when I see "the field of" and "the area of" in their figurative
>sentences. "I'm studying the field of corn" doesn't bother me when said by
>an Ag Extension agent, but "I'm studying the field of biology" makes me yell,

Steve ... I can imagine a legitimate difference between "I am studying
biology" (or "I am doing work in biology") and "I am studying the
field of biology." The former is what a biologist would say, the
latter is what a social scientist or rhetorician might say if they
("they" on purpose, Steve, don't scream) were studying biologists as a
community or examining biology discourse: i.e., literally studying
*the field* as opposed to doing work *in* the field. (Granted, in
most cases "in the field of" is probably used thoughtlessly--but
I'm not willing to support a blanket condemnation. Context is

> >Then there're
redundancies: "PC computer"

This could serve an instructive purpose for an audience who
does not know that the PC IS a computer. Ditto for "ABS braking
system." What is redundancy for one audience might be a helpful
apposition for another.

BTW, I am in the field of rhetoric.

Jim Porter
Purdue University
jporter -at- mace -dot- cc -dot- purdue -dot- edu

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