Hi - can you lovely pedants please take a look at the text below:
As in the post-war settlement years, in the 1990s the ?efficient management? of welfare services has gained a prominent position on the agenda of European governments for two main reasons. First, it is a response to the criticism by the public choice school of a rigid, remote and unrepresentative welfare state technocracy (Self, 1993). Secondly, it arises from the need to implement cost-saving strategies and avoid unpopular and politically costly decisions.
Do you think that it should be "First, it is... . Second, ..." instead of First, secondly?
And do you think that "two main reasons" is ok to be followed by a full stop and then two separate sentences rather than a colon? is the punctuation ok?
I think it should be firstly,.. secondly,... but it reads ok. I agree the "two main reasons" should be followed but a colon, but I suppose the reason it isn't is that it would make the sentence a bit too long and unwieldy.
What's with the ?efficient management? bit? Is it like the Spanish where a question sentence is preceeded by an upside-down question-mark?
First and second is much nicer than firstly and secondly. It's correct and it's shorter, which is what you should go for (all those "smart" sounding versions - whilst, amongst etc - should be eschewed in favour of plain English).