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Is there anything wrong with this sentence? (1 Viewer)

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lumino

Senior Member
God, who created all things in order to show both His love and glory, has so designed them that they bear witness that He is the one who made them.

I am trying to achieve a certain register.

Do you see anything wrong with this sentence?

Is it wrong that I am using "designed" and "made" after "created"? Do these count as unnecessary redundancies? If so, is there a better way to word the sentence?

Is "bear witness" too archaic to be used in modern prose?
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
God who, in order to show both His love and glory, created all things, so designed them that they bore witness that it was He who made them.

Was the old testement style deliberate?
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
To me it jarred more that you had "designed them" and then "made them". Too many thems for my tastes, in a sentence already heavily loaded with words beginning with th~. But apart from that it is fine. It seems to carry a certain Biblical gravitas if that is what you are going for,
 

TL Murphy

Met3 Member
Staff member
Chief Mentor
There is nothing wrong with the sentence, grammatically, but it’s the most convoluted string of prose I’ve ever read.
 
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JustRob

FoWF
WF Veterans
There is nothing wrong with the sentence, grammatically, but it’s the most convoluted string of prose I’ve ever read.

Really? perhaps I should post my definition of 'a thing', which I wrote in an explanation of information modelling techniques many years ago in my working days. At a training course on writing plain English it was used to demonstrate just how obscure written English can become. I think that was harsh judgment of my attempt to tackle such a difficult subject. After all, what exactly is 'a thing' in plain English?

Returning to the OP, I would say that the phrase 'bear witness' could be replaced by an equally adequate word such as 'demonstrate', but as that is just an alternative to 'show', which already appears elsewhere in the text, that would just emphasise the overall reiteration of the same sentiment. It all depends what effect you want to achieve though.

It intrigues me that when people write about such religious matters they often labour their points as though they do not have sufficient faith in the reader to state things only once and succinctly at that. If God is in all things and therefore in all people, then such an apparent lack of faith in one's readers could also be construed as a lack of faith in God despite what one might profess in one's words. Personally I try to adopt a style where every word carries its full share of the meaning and the reader who does not hang on to every word and consider its significance fully may not perceive the full information that I hope to impart.

I believe that the joy of reading comes not from what the writer openly and maybe even forcibly presents to us but from what we perceive as our own discoveries within their words. Hence I try to leave many 'Easter eggs' buried within my prose for the perceptive reader to find and trust that they will. That also means that I tend to impart information to the reader almost subliminally, coaxing them into a particular frame of mind rather than openly preaching to them. Is it better to present our fully formed ideas to readers in our writing or just to sow the seeds of those ideas in their minds so that they grow in a way that is most acceptable and pleasing to them? Are we, by labouring our points, in danger of suggesting that our own minds are more fertile places for the ideas to bloom than theirs? They say that every occasion when a story is read is a unique event, that the book itself is only a means to that end and not an end in itself. It is all a matter of personal style though.

The moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on.
(Omar Khayyám) So should any writer's fingers in my opinion.
 

TL Murphy

Met3 Member
Staff member
Chief Mentor
JustRob, you raise many valid points. I did not actually address the real question: “Is there anything wrong with this sentence?” I was talking about grammatical structure which is not necessarily what the question asks., - Wrong- is a word for which there are no absolutes. The question could just as easily be, “Is there anything right with this question?” Technically, the sentence works, but I’d say it’s as poor attempt at communication and falls into convoluted obscurity, like much academic writing. So, in that way, no, it doesn’t work. But it isn’t wrong. You could write a sentence that is grammatically correct but the words are used out of context. Would there be something wrong with that sentence, or would it just be nonsensical? Hard to say. I guess it comes down to what one means by “meaning” and how a sentence addresses meaning. Is meaning held in the words themselves or the image they project? Perhaps that’s another discussion about the difference between prose and poetry.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
Is it wrong that I am using "designed" and "made" after "created"? Do these count as unnecessary redundancies? If so, is there a better way to word the sentence?

As people say, 'wrong' is another concept.

"Do these count as (unnecessary) redundancies?"
'Made' and 'created' are practically synonymous, but 'design' is a process that precedes construction, if you wish to lose the redundancy I would suggest,
'God, who created all things in order to show both His love and glory, has so designed them that they bear witness that they are His.'
Simpler is usually better, you could go further,
'God, who created all things to show love and glory, designed them to show they are his.'
That may well be what Murpy is getting at.
 

JustRob

FoWF
WF Veterans
Wrong- is a word for which there are no absolutes.

I think we should recognise the distinction between "wrong" and "anything wrong". The former implies that there is a single undisputed criterion for wrongness, which there isn't, as you state, but the latter form of the question invites us to choose our own criteria and judge the text against those. Hence both our responses to it are equally valid given the open way that it was worded. I did specify that my response was to the OP rather than the thread title though, although I have been known to ignore an OP entirely and just respond to the title, but then I confess openly to being erratic.

In the interests of erraticism I would remark that no doubt there are people in the world who would say that what was most evidently wrong was that the statement was written in English! Perhaps they would expect statements on such a subject to be written only in Latin ... or Arabic or whatever ... depending on their culture. In fact, the existence of so many different languages amongst mankind may in itself challenge the veracity of the statement, but I assume that truth is not a criterion against which the questioner wanted us to judge it. No, the wrongness ought only to be judged here in a literary sense of structure and semantics.

You can tell that I'm still in bed and have not focussed my mind on the practicalities of life for the new day yet, can't you? On the other hand, if I had I wouldn't be posting my thoughts on WF.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
Nothing wrong with it grammatically. I don't personally love it as a stand-alone, but I doubt that's the situation.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
In fact, the existence of so many different languages amongst mankind may in itself challenge the veracity of the statement, but I assume that truth is not a criterion against which the questioner wanted us to judge it. No, the wrongness ought only to be judged here in a literary sense of structure and semantics.

Now, that is a consideration, Rob.
 
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