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Is this acceptable or just wrong? It's a research question, along the lines of:

(15 Posts)
MirandaGoshawk Thu 11-Aug-11 10:31:18

"What are students' perceptions towards teaching methods in the UK Science classroom?'

The author has English as a second language. Her main title is (similar to) 'Students' perceptions of teaching methods...', but 'perceptions towards' is one of her research questions. Her research has to be handed in today. Do you think it sounds OK or should I change to 'perceptions of' throughout?It's a major change.

VictorianIce Thu 11-Aug-11 10:50:22

I'd say 'perceptions of'.

plupervert Thu 11-Aug-11 10:53:55

You can use the Search/Replace function in Word to find all the instances of "perception toward" and Replace that with "perception of". Ditto for "perceptions" plural.

I did a lot of these mass word-chyanges when I was fiddling my dissertation to reduce the word count, and it is quite quick, not the "major change" you fear!

MirandaGoshawk Thu 11-Aug-11 11:07:40

Thanks for your thoughts.

Plu Yes, I know it's easy to do a search & replace, I didn't mean it like that, I meant it's a big change for her to change her research questions.

plupervert Thu 11-Aug-11 11:11:39

If it's just a grammar change, surely that's not material/substantive?

plupervert Thu 11-Aug-11 11:14:03

P.S. I'm sorry if the search/replace suggestion came across as patronising; having temped, I assume that I do know a lot of shortcuts that other people don't know, so it is worth offering them, just in case.

MirandaGoshawk Thu 11-Aug-11 11:38:40

The thing is that she's asked students a question, X. Now I'm suggesting that when it's written up, it's effectively saying she asked them Y. But you're right, it's just grammar & means the same thing. The title actually, I've just noticed, is in fact 'perceptions towards' and her tutor has OK'd that. AAARGH!

plupervert Thu 11-Aug-11 12:48:16

In a recent bit of proof-reading I did, I corrected questions of a survey which had already been performed, feeling that (a) the paper's author was a non-native speaker of English, and I was correcting the rest of the paper, (b) the survey was performed across Europe, so it may have been issued in a different translation for some respondents anyway, and (c) the meaning is clear enough, just a mixup between "attitudes towards" and "perceptions of" and therefore you are not cheating by changing the meaning.

If there are very strict guidelines about this sort of thing in your area, you can always: (a) put in "[sic]", to indicate the mistake was there in the original, or (b) correct it and footnote that respondents were surveyed with the wording "perceptions towards".

MirandaGoshawk Thu 11-Aug-11 15:43:10

Thanks Plu, those are both good suggestions. Much appreciated.

I love Pedants' Corner!

plupervert Thu 11-Aug-11 16:40:46

Yes, Pedants' Corner is great, isn't it? I found it particularly soothing today, with the other topics full of loud and often crazy debate about the riots/looting, and almost nothing on the stock markets or debt crisis (eurozone and US) (though a couple of threads are trying to address that).

And, compared to the riots/looting chatter, here, in Pedants' Corner, our intolerance won't result in someone's losing his/her housing and benefits!

MirandaGoshawk Fri 12-Aug-11 19:07:18

I emailed her, and thought you'd like to see her reply:

"i have sorted this problem, as you were write."


I think I might make that my new MN nickname - IamWrite.


plupervert Fri 12-Aug-11 19:53:04

I did like her reply! Thank you!

The username is a great idea.

P.S. Did she not capitalise the "i" either?!

MirandaGoshawk Sun 14-Aug-11 20:36:22

No. That was a cut & paste.

She told me that she & her chums over here like to practise their English so use it to communicate by email & text - in other words, with txt spk you just make up your own spellings!

Hopefully it'll be a while i'll be dead before it takes over completely & the Times & the Telegraph use txt spk. hmm

MirandaGoshawk Sun 14-Aug-11 20:47:28

Oops! Perhaps she meant to, just like I did! blush

Blame the keyboard.

plupervert Sun 14-Aug-11 21:26:31

Oh, that "i" was just a typo. The difference is clear from the context! wink

(Don't you get nervous about writing in Pedants' Corner, though? I do!)

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