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Anyone good with science/medical grammar?

(21 Posts)
RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 19:26:04

I'm struggling with the following grammar points. Which are correct? It's for an international paper so maybe American English is better.

- There was a greater incidence of measles in younger children than that of older children.

- There was a greater incidence of measles in younger children than in older children.

- In the high blood pressure group, there was...

- In high blood pressure group, there was...

Does anyone know?

TheoriginalLEM Thu 10-Dec-15 19:34:32

There was a greater incidence of measles in younger children than in older children

In the high blood pressure group; there was

Not sure what type of English that is though - scientific writing has a language all of its own.

Usually past, third person - i think.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 10-Dec-15 19:36:09

Agree with LEM.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 10-Dec-15 19:36:30

Actually, it should be There were, not there was depending on what is to follow.

CwtchMeQuick Thu 10-Dec-15 19:38:01

Yep 3rd person past tense.
I think in general you don't put extra words in scientific writing to make it sound nice as you would do in most things.

- There was a greater incidence of measles in younger children than in older children.

- In the high blood pressure group, there was...

Wandastartup Thu 10-Dec-15 19:43:04

The incidence of measles was greater in younger children than older

Lancelottie Thu 10-Dec-15 19:47:05

Agree with LEM's first point and heartily disagree with the semicolon in the second.

Oh, and thank goodness for a paper that uses 'than' and doesn't make me wrangle with 'compared with' vs 'compared to' for the umptieth time today.

reallybadidea Thu 10-Dec-15 19:48:25

'Younger children' isn't very specific though is it? Younger or older than what age? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say:

There was a greater incidence of measles in children under x years of age.

RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 19:48:37

Thank you!!

I was correcting papers as you all suggested but these have come up a lot in different papers so I was starting to doubt myself. I feel much better now

SueDunome Thu 10-Dec-15 19:49:24

I don't agree with your use of the semicolon LEM; a semicolon should be used to separate two closely related phrases, thus.

Lancelottie Thu 10-Dec-15 19:50:48

You don't have nearly enough acronyms and brackets for that authentic scientific flavour.

Try redefining children as paediatric patients and abbreviating younger children to YC, older ones to OC, with an age range, mean, standard deviation and p-level in brackets, bung in a reference or two instead of explaining te main point of your sentence and preferably refer to a diagram that you handily forgot to include with the main text.

SueDunome Thu 10-Dec-15 19:50:50

X-post Lancelottie smile

Lancelottie Thu 10-Dec-15 19:52:27

(I'm joking. Please stick to nice clear sentences.)

RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 19:52:53

They were just random slightly crap examples. blush

RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 19:53:41

Strikeout fail. I need a cup of tea.

Heebiejeebie Thu 10-Dec-15 19:55:52

Usually incidences are higher and lower

the incidence of measles was higher in younger than older children.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 10-Dec-15 19:56:00

I stand corrected, although it sort of read like it was going to be a list, which then makes my ; right doesn't it? confused

Ignore me smile

RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 19:56:05

I can't really use the original paper as it may be confidential but it's about drug use in cancer patients. The authors aren't native English speakers.

RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 19:58:02

I just started a proof reading job. It's very interesting but my science skills are better than my English skills.

RamblingRedRose Thu 10-Dec-15 20:09:33

The incidence of * in low blood pressure group was significantly higher than that in high blood pressure group.

The incidence of * in the low blood pressure group was significantly higher than the high blood pressure group.

bigkidsdidit Thu 10-Dec-15 20:11:50

I proof read scientific papers. I would do 'the incidence of * in the low blood pressure group was sig higher than in the high pressure group'.

We use semi colons only after a phrase which could be a stand alone sentence, LEM

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