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"Supposed to"

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: "Supposed to" Reply with quote

Brian Hansen wrote in another post

Quote:
That covers the larger point, but you happen to have used a phrase
that I have tried to excise from my vocabulary, and I recommend you do
the same. In particular, I recommend you avoid the word "supposed",
except when it immediately follows some personal pronoun or other
reference to a particular person or persons ("I", "he", "Brian", etc.),
and you are referring to what a particular someone assumed.

People who break my rule are trying to use "supposed" to make a
normative judgment (what ought to be), while what they are actually
accomplishing is describing an assumption that someone (they
themselves, usually) are making. The implication is that the world
ought to be the way they assume it is, a very naive view, especially
when their assumptions are ill-founded.

In fact, unless you are writing a novel, I recommend against using
"supposed" even with pronouns or references to individual people,
except when referring to "I" or yourself. We generally don't have
very good access to what other people are assuming.
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