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Thread: cons by itself

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    #1

    cons by itself

    Can you use "cons" outside of the phrase "pros and cons" in a semi-formal setting? This sounds very odd to me:

    You must evaluate the cons of becoming more independent.

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    #2

    Re: cons by itself

    Normally the process of evaluation involves a consideration of both pros and cons. There is no particular reason that 'cons' cannot be used without 'pros', but it rarely is. If we are just considering one side, we normally speak of 'points/arguments for/in favour of' or the 'points/arguments against'.

    ps. I have just had a quick glance through the first 200 citations of 'cons' in COCA. In those in which 'cons' had the meaning of 'disadvantages', drawbacks', 'points against', all had a nearby 'pros'.
    Last edited by 5jj; 29-Jan-2012 at 18:15. Reason: ps added

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    #3

    Re: cons by itself

    Thanks. The paper I am reading does indeed cover the "pros" in an earlier paragraph, and likewise uses the term outside of the phrase.

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