'In pursuit of excellence' or 'In *the* pursuit of excellence'?

(8 Posts)
Pantomimedam Thu 13-Dec-12 12:30:17

Been suggested as a motto for an organisation with which I am involved. In the sounds wrong to me in this context. Imagine: 'Blogg's Academy - in the pursuit of excellence.' Just feels wrong but can't explain why (not that I've been out partying too much this week and my brain is sluggish or anything).

Any idea why or am I being too fussy?

MrsShrek3 Thu 13-Dec-12 12:38:52

I would say stick to the "in pursuit of excellence" - because without getting caught up in the technical construction of clauses, you don't need a definite article. IMHO this is because it could be viewed that there is not only one pursuit - or way in which to pursue.... ohh lordy I'll shut up before I'm off rambling again blush
doncha love pedantry grin

Pantomimedam Thu 13-Dec-12 13:19:57

Thank you, indeed I love pedantry, but I couldn't explain why 'the' was wrong!

cumfy Fri 14-Dec-12 13:24:44

It feels ambiguous.

I would go for Pursuing excellence or ^The pursuit of excellence^; much more clear-cut.

But there again if they can't even come up with a pithy slogan, their pursuit will be short-lived in any case.

lougle Fri 14-Dec-12 21:48:17

"In the pursuit of excellence" sounds like they are just joining in something which is already happening.

"In pursuit of excellence" sounds more active, that they are pursuing excellence themselves.

Pantomimedam Fri 14-Dec-12 22:26:54

Thank you.

The head seems to have caved - last time it went past the governors it was 'in pursuit of excellence'. I think it's pants to have a motto for a school anyway, it isn't some bollocks junior management training scheme. (Unless the school is Eton and the motto is in Latin. Have a vague feeling my school had a Latin motto but it had an excuse as it was created to educate girls in the days when many people thought they should sit quietly at home and do some sewing.)

Btw, cumfy, I know what you mean but to be fair, it is an outstanding school and has been for years. Not just according to Ofsted but the parents, staff and pupils, as well as other external organisations such as Investors in People (we had a review of our Gold standard recently, inspector was gushing). So I forgive the head for being a bit, um, precious about her motto - she does run an extremely good school.

lougle Sat 15-Dec-12 08:34:39

I think a more modern and inspiring motto would be 'Pursue excellence' -an instruction to students staff and Governors.

Pan Sat 15-Dec-12 08:51:12

"In the pursuit of excellence.." sounds like a clause...and I'd be expecting a comma, followed by the second clause....like "..., Billy fell off his pogo stick." or something.
You were right first time, imho.

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