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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Hello

    Imagine you are to write an essay in an international exam like TOEFL about climate change. Would it be okay to write this sentence?

    Venice recently served as the canary in the coalmine. The recent floods in Venice should serve as a wake-up call to all those who deny climate change.

    Is it okay to use canary in the coalmine in a formal essay?

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Hello.

    Would it be okay to write this these sentences?

    Is it okay to use canary in the coalmine in a formal essay?
    I don't see a problem with that.

  3. Senior Member
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    #3

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Venice recently served as the canary in the coalmine. The recent floods in Venice should serve as a wake-up call to all those who deny climate change.

    What is another word I can use to avoid repeating serve?

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    What is another word I can use to avoid repeating "serve"?
    Try "were" instead of the second instance of "served".

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    #5

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Maybe they were not. I use should to say I think they should be a wake-up call but maybe some people are ignoring them.

    The recent floods in Venice should serve as a wake-up call to all those who deny climate change.

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Maybe they were not. Can I use "should" to say I think they should be a wake-up call but maybe some people are ignoring them?
    Yes, but please get into the habit of using quotation marks or italics when referring to a word or phrase.
    Note that you would still be repeating "serve".

    Try "should be".

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    #7

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Yes, but please get into the habit of using quotation marks or italics when referring to a word or phrase.
    Note that you would still be repeating "serve".

    Try "should be".
    I meant to say that I am looking for a particular verb to replace the second "serve".

    "Should be" works just fine. But is there a verb I can replace "serve" with?

  8. teechar's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    "Should be" works just fine. But is there a verb I can replace "serve" with?
    You can say "The recent floods in Venice should be a wake-up call to all those who deny climate change".

    Does that work for you, or are you looking for something else?

  9. Senior Member
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    #9

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    You can say "The recent floods in Venice should be a wake-up call to all those who deny climate change".

    Does that work for you, or are you looking for something else?
    Yes it works, but out of curiosity I just wanted to know if the verb "serve" can be replaced with another verb.

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    #10

    Re: The city is the canary in the coalmine

    I'm sure it can. One example would be "represent" (without "as").

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