on taNNIr/toyam and toTTis/taDAgas.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 7 21:02:51 UTC 1998

Jacob Baltuch <jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE> wrote:

>Anyway, sorry for this lengthy non-Indological parenthesis that I'm
>entirely guilty of having started (I'm talking of the whole subthread).
>No more from me on this thread.

Well, let's put a dead-end sign on this little diversion. I wrote to the
Merriam-Webster Editorial Department. Their response is appended below.

From: Karen Wilkinson <kwilkinson at mail.m-w.com>
To: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vidya at cco.caltech.edu>
Cc: replytosuggest at m-w.com
Subject: Re: grammar question ..

Thanks for your message.

The sentence "water was filled in the tank" sounds a little odd to my
ear.  The verb in the passive voice makes it seem as if the water is
the receiver of the action--that is, that the water is being filled
(with something else), rather than the tank being filled with water.

I would recommend rewording the sentence in one of the following

Water filled the tank.
The tank was filled with water.
Water was poured into the tank.

I hope I've been helpful.

Karen L. Wilkinson
Merriam-Webster Editorial Department

That settles it. The sentence is "somehow wrong," or it "seems wrong,"
or it "sounds a little odd." I suppose this is why we experimental
scientist folks have been able to get away with it in our journals. As
for English language usage, since a lot rides on what "seems/sounds
right," I, for one, will try to avoid such constructions in the future!

Best Wishes,

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