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  1. #1
    Jaggers is offline Junior Member
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    Default Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    I have searched through other threads but this question doesn't appear to be directly addressed elsewhere.

    When does "mitigate" need to take a preposition?

    eg which of the following is correct or better:

    (a) The new drug mitigates the effects of cancer.
    (b) The new drug mitigates against the effects of cancer.

    The reason I ask is our Central Bank, two months after misquoting Joyce and inserting a new conjunction on a commemorative coin has today issued a statement on a different matter today - the vandalism of a building site for a new bank office - which states

    "There are security arrangements in place at the site. We will now investigate how these failed to prevent this break in and damage and how they can be improved to mitigate this happening again."

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    I'd say that the use of 'mitigate' in the sentence is wrong. It seems to need "avoid". You can mitigate the results of this happening again, or perhaps mitigate the possiblility of this happening again.

    I also wouldn't use "mitigate against". Sentence (a) is sufficient.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    Or "...prevent this from happening again."

  4. #4
    Jaggers is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    Thanks both, but I think they meant to communicate a sense of "lessening" or "reducing" the risk or actual effect of future vandalism rather than "avoiding" or "preventing", both of which imply total avoidance or prevention. Raymott suggests they should have used "mitigate the results" or "mitigate the possibility", both of which appear better.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    That's a pretty low goal. if I had someone break into my bank(?!) and cause damage, I would want to find ways to prevent that from happening.

  6. #6
    Jaggers is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    Coming back to the original question, when is it appropriate for "mitigate" to take a succeeding preposition such as "against", or when is it better for "mitigate" to take a succeeding preposition rather than omit a preposition and go straight to an object.

    So, is it better to say "mitigate against the effects" than to say "mitigate the effects"?

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mitigate, with and without a preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaggers View Post
    Coming back to the original question, when is it appropriate for "mitigate" to take a succeeding preposition such as "against", or when is it better for "mitigate" to take a succeeding preposition rather than omit a preposition and go straight to an object.

    So, is it better to say "mitigate against the effects" than to say "mitigate the effects"?
    It's better to say "mitigate the effects". I can't find a dictionary that defends "mitigate against".

    "usage: mitigate against (to weigh against) is widely regarded as an error. The actual phrase is militate against:This criticism in no way militates against your continuing the research."
    mitigate - definition of mitigate by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    "Usage Discussion of MITIGATE

    Mitigate is sometimes used as an intransitive (followed by against) where militate might be expected. Even though Faulkner used it <some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him — William Faulkner> and one critic thinks it should be called an American idiom, it is usually considered a mistake."
    Mitigate - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary


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