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    #1

    Pressurize and Comma

    I have two questions about the extract that follows.

    "The French Presidency under François Mitterrand managed to resolve the long-running dispute over the UK's contribution to the budget, and pressurized the UK into accepting work of the committee by making references to a future scenario involving a two-tier Europe, with the UK firmly in the second tier. The UK had fallen behind its more integrationist neighbours once before, when it had refused to join the Community in the 1950s."

    I didn't know "pressurize" was a word. I would've written "pressured the UK." Any difference between "to pressure" and "to pressurize"?

    Isn't the comma after "before" wrong? The "when" clause seems to be restrictive.

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: Pressurize and Comma

    Pressurize is a word. But it is not the one I would use here. They pressured the UK. You are correct.

    (You might pressurize a cylinder by filling it with a gas, etc. It's more of a technical term.)

    I would probably use the comma in that sentence. There is a pause needed. You don't want the reader to think "before when" is its own prepositional phrase.

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    #3

    Re: Pressurize and Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Pressurize is a word. But it is not the one I would use here. They pressured the UK. You are correct.

    (You might pressurize a cylinder by filling it with a gas, etc. It's more of a technical term.)

    I would probably use the comma in that sentence. There is a pause needed. You don't want the reader to think "before when" is its own prepositional phrase.
    So the need for a pause overrides the fact that the "when" clause is restrictive?

    The authors of the book I got that sentence from use commas very liberally. For example:

    "It held that national legislation may not bar imports of wines from another Member State by reserving the right to use a particular shape of bottle to its own national product, where bottles of a similar shape were also used traditionally in the state of origin."

    To me, the comma after "product" is wrong.

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    #4

    Re: Pressurize and Comma

    As a native speaker, I do not think about whether a clause is "restrictive" or "dependent" or anything like that.

    Comma use does vary among natives. I think that when the speaker or reader needs to pause to separate ideas a comma is useful.

    Especially so in long, involved sentences like the one about the wine bottles.

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    #5

    Re: Pressurize and Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    As a native speaker, I do not think about whether a clause is "restrictive" or "dependent" or anything like that.

    Comma use does vary among natives. I think that when the speaker or reader needs to pause to separate ideas a comma is useful.

    Especially so in long, involved sentences like the one about the wine bottles.
    I'll give you another example.

    "The legal basis invoked by the Advertising Directive relates to the internal market. The Community's internal market competence is not limited, a priori, by any reserved domain of Member State power. It is a horizontal power, whose exercise displaces national regulatory competence in the field addressed."

    It is obvious, to me, that the comma after "power" is wrong since the "whose" clause is restrictive. But I do recognize that the comma introduces an effective pause, one that lends punchiness to the clause.

    I do not know what an editor would in a case such as this one. There's a conlict between grammar and style.

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    #6

    Re: Pressurize and Comma

    I'd probably not use one there. You are only 5 words into the sentence and the "whose" relates directly to the following word.

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