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    • Join Date: May 2007
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    nouns as adjectives

    In the following terms, is the use of nouns as adjectives acceptable?

    student progress, student goal attainment
    community needs
    employer satisfaction

    I edit books in a higher education setting, and I strive to set the best example of formal usage. This issue comes up frequently in my manuscripts. I've tried introducing possessives in these terms (e.g., students' progress), but some authors resist because they are used to seeing the terms without the possessive. I haven't been able to find any guidance specific enough.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Re: nouns as adjectives

    Welcome, DWTO

    I suspect the answer is that there is no absolute rule, and that such usages are stylistic preferences. I also feel there is a semantic difference between "students' progress" [relating to students as individuals] and {[the] student [body]} as a general term. It will be interesting to see what others think.

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