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Thread: idiom

  1. #1
    Mr. X is offline Junior Member
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    Default idiom

    Hello,

    I have a couple of doubts:

    1) in light of: I know this idiom, but is it always 'in light of' or are there places where we must use it with an article ... in the light of?

    2) He did not feel compelled to do it.
    Is this okay?

    Mr. X

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. X View Post
    Hello,

    I have a couple of doubts:

    1) in light of: I know this idiom, but is it always 'in light of' or are there places where we must use it with an article ... in the light of?
    The idiom is "In light of..."
    Of course there are occasions when you might use "in the light of" in unidiomatic sentences:
    "I sat in the light of the hurricane lamp."

    2) He did not feel compelled to do it.
    Is this okay?
    Yes
    Mr. X
    Check here
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...ght-light.html

  3. #3
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: idiom

    That thread - which I started - didn't establish that 'in the light of' was unidiomatic, only that it's not used in AusEng. Indeed, I was always aware that 'in the light of' is idiomatic in BrEng, but my question was about 'in light of': an English colleague at work thought 'in light of' wrong; the Oxford English Dictionary gives 'in light of' as AmEng; but I speak BrEng and use 'in light of'.

    My conclusion from that thread is:

    'in the light of' is idiomatic in BrEng;

    'in light of' is idiomatic in AmEng and AusEng (on the basis that Raymott never uses the article), and is also used in BrEng (on the basis that I use and hear it, irrespective of what my colleague and my edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (which is a decade old - things change!) say).

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    That thread - which I started - didn't establish that 'in the light of' was unidiomatic, only that it's not used in AusEng.
    I don't think you can reasonably infer that from the thread.
    I included the link to that thread simply to give the OP a few opinions on this topic that has recently been discussed.

    'in light of' is idiomatic in AmEng and AusEng (on the basis that Raymott never uses the article),
    No, you shouldn't infer idiomatic uses in AusE just from the way I write.
    The idiom is used with "the" sometimes in Australia, whether I use "the" or not.
    I don't mind you disagreeing with me as much as you like, but I'd prefer you didn't deliberately misquote or misrepresent me.

    and is also used in BrEng (on the basis that I use and hear it, irrespective of what my colleague and my edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (which is a decade old - things change!) say).
    Back to the topic: Yes, you can also use "In the light of ..."
    The OP was asking whether there are any circumstances where you have to say, "In the light of ..." Do you have an opinion on that?

  5. #5
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: idiom

    Whoa! First, Raymott, your reply to the poster was wrong. You wrote:

    'The idiom is "In light of..."
    Of course there are occasions when you might use "in the light of" in unidiomatic sentences:
    "I sat in the light of the hurricane lamp."'

    The only possible conclusion from your words is that you think 'in the light of' is not used idiomatically. But that's not true and you should have known that given the previous thread in which we established that you personally had never heard the idiomatic 'in the light of' in AusEng (your words: 'I've only heard of "In light of the ...."').

    Given that you'd only heard 'in light of', I think it was reasonable to infer from that thread that 'in the light of' was not idiomatic in AusEng (and I did qualify this by writing 'on the basis that Raymott never used the article'). Of course, it's not a reasonable inference now that you’ve contradicted yourself by writing in this thread: ‘Yes, you can also use “in the light of”’. Eh, what? Is it:

    ‘I’ve only heard of “in light of the …”’ (previous thread)

    Or

    ‘Yes, you can also use “in the light of”’ (this thread)

    A bit of a double whammy there, I think. And yet you have the gall to accuse me!
    Last edited by bertietheblue; 13-Jul-2010 at 10:01. Reason: to clarify

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: idiom

    To clarify:
    The idiom I know is "In light of ... " However, others have said they also use "In the light of ..." and I believe them. I added the link so the OP could read the discussion and decide for himself. Perhaps I was unclear about that.
    I then answered his question.
    I did not intend this to be an assertion that he couldn't use "In the light of " as an idiom, or I wouldn't have posted the link.
    I was more concerned in answering his question.

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