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    #1

    as was suspected

    Is this sentence grammatically correct:
    Some experts have said that pilot suicide may be the most likely explanation for the disappearance, as was suspected in a SilkAir crash during a flight from Singapore to Jakarta in 1997 and an EgyptAir flight in 1999.


    Source:
    http://news.yahoo.com/malaysian-inve...035744022.html

    I can understand what it means. But I am not sure the "as was suspected" part really works grammatically. I would like to know what you think and -if possible- how you parse it.



    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2
    I'd say, "as is suspected" if they haven't come up with a more probable cause. They still suspect suicide, so suicide is still suspected.
    I don't see the grammatical problem though, unless you're concerned that what was suspected is that "Some experts have said that pilot suicide may be the most likely explanation", and your objection is that this is a matter of record rather than a suspicion.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3
    Because this except is referring to a current missing flight, I would not change "was" to is". The experts suspect a hijacking in the current case. The reference to pilot suicide refers to past events.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Because this excert [?] is referring to a current missing flight, I would not change "was" to is". The experts suspect a hijacking in the current case. The reference to pilot suicide refers to past events.
    But the quote came from a time when highjacking was not the current theory. The experts were suggesting pilot suicide, as is suspected still for the previous flights. I take it that you agree that pilot suicide is still suspected for the previous flights?
    Whether you change "was" to "is" is neither here nor there compared to the error of analysing a text using knowledge that was not available, and hence not relevant, at the time the text was written. It's like arguing that "The flight ended near the south of Vietnam, and is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe" is ungrammatical because now we know it's not true!
    Last edited by Raymott; 15-Mar-2014 at 10:26.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5
    But that passage refers to what was suspected at that time. The current article deals with what is suspected in this case. I agree with you that either verb works. But for the purpose of contrast, I would use the past tense.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's like arguing that "The flight ended near the south of Vietnam, and is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe" is ungrammatical because now we know it's not true!
    For members who may be unsure about this, "The flight ended near the south of Vietnam, and is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe"is grammatically correct. If the flight did not in fact end near the south of Vietnam and/or is not now thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe, then it is untrue. It is still grammatically correct.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7
    The word which has so far been spelled "except" (post #3) and "excert" (post #4) should be "excerpt".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8
    Oops!

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    #9
    Thank you all for this lively discussion.

    This sentence

    a-The flight ended near the south of Vietnam, and is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe.

    does not make much sense to me. It seems to be saying that the flight is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe.
    I am not talking about facts here. Only about syntax and semantics. Maybe

    b-The flight ended near the south of Vietnam, which is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe.

    I think 'b' is awkward, but more or less grammatical.


    I think I have found out why
    Some experts have said that pilot suicide may be the most likely explanation for the disappearance, as was suspected in a SilkAir crash during a flight from Singapore to Jakarta in 1997 and an EgyptAir flight in 1999.


    bothered me.

    It seems to me saying that 'It was suspected that pilot suicide might have been the most likely explanation for the disappearance in a SilkAir crash....'
    Did that plane crash or did it disappear?

    But I might be splitting hairs.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  8. Roman55's Avatar
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    #10
    I am not a teacher.

    The problem with both 'a' and 'b' is that the subject of these sentences is "the flight", and it is not true to say that the flight is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe.

    We all understand what is meant but grammatically they make no logical sense.

    What is thought to be due to a sudden catastrophe is the ending of the flight.

    Your analysis of the sentence in red is correct.

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