longest serving... from

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longest serving... from

Post by navi » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:03 am

Which are correct:

1-He was the longest serving British ambassador to their country from 1852 to 1872.

2-He was the longest serving British ambassador to their country, from 1852 to 1872.

3-He was the longest serving British ambassador to their country- from 1852 to 1872.

4-He was the longest serving British ambassador to their country( from 1852 to 1872).

The intended meaning is:

He was the longest serving British ambassador to their country, serving from 1852 to 1872.

Gratefully,
Navi.
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Re: longest serving... from

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:13 pm

I only like (4) myself.
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Re: longest serving... from

Post by trolley » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:21 pm

For the sake of clarity, I'd go with the sentence you wrote in the intended meaning:
He was the longest serving British ambassador to their country, serving from 1852 to 1872.
The other four allow the possibility that he was the longest serving ambassador during that 18 year stretch...at least, to me.
Edit... 1,2, and 3 could be open to interpretation...#4 is clear enough.
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Re: longest serving... from

Post by Phil White » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Yes, reformulate it as trolley suggests.

Although the comma in #2 should make it clear, you cannot rely on it. Punctuation is never an accurate science. Even #4 could be interpreted incorrectly in certain contexts.
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Re: longest serving... from

Post by JerrySmile » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:06 am

This is how it should be done, IMO:

He was U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1977 to 1988, the longest serving ambassador to that country ever.

He was U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1977 to 1988, the longest serving ambassador to that country during his tour of service.
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