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    #1

    who

    Dear all,

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire,

    "heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire" describes Liliane Bettencourt or Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers?

    Would the meaning change if I add a "who" before heiress, for example:

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, who is heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire?

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: who

    ...heiress refers to Lilian. It's reasonably clear to me.

    Adding 'who is' would remove the ambiguity you perceived in the first sentence, and make the meaning crystal clear.

    Rover

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: who

    Quote Originally Posted by idiotmike View Post
    Dear all,

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire,

    "heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire" describes Liliane Bettencourt or Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers?

    Would the meaning change if I add a "who" before heiress, for example:

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, who is heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire?

    Thank you
    I still see ambiguity. It is hard to tell, from either sentence, whether Francoise or Liliane is the heiress. In the second sentence I would assume that it is Liliane, but I don't think I would be completely sure.

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    #4

    Re: who

    Quote Originally Posted by idiotmike View Post
    Dear all,

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire,

    "heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire" describes Liliane Bettencourt or Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers?

    Would the meaning change if I add a "who" before heiress, for example:

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, who is heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire?

    Thank you
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Mike.

    (1) What a coincidence! I opened my newspaper this morning

    and read something that immediately reminded me of your question.

    (2) Yes, Teachers Rover and EMSR are 100% correct.

    (3) My newspaper says:

    When L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt met her lawyers....

    THANK YOU

  2. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #5

    Re: who

    Quote Originally Posted by idiotmike View Post
    Dear all,

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire,

    "heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire" describes Liliane Bettencourt or Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers?

    Would the meaning change if I add a "who" before heiress, for example:

    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, who is heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire?

    Thank you
    I agree with the others. The way you have written it suggests that Liliane is the heiress. We would need to see the entire sentence to be positively sure, however. I assume that the next word would be a verb. That makes Liliane the heiress, for sure.

    However, if you were to continue with another string of appositives it would no longer be so clear:
    Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, only child of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire, owner of the world's first solar powered airplane, two-time winner of the Daytona 500, estranged wife of the Olympic Badminton Commissioner, set out today on her round-the-world unicycle expedition.

    Perhaps The Parser's newspaper can make this clearer!

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