about whom we learned

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

about whom we learned

Post by navi » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:33 am

Which are correct:

1) She was the first woman we learned was working for them.

2) She was the first woman about whom we learned that she was working for them.

3) She was the first woman to be known by us to be working for them.

4) She was the first woman to become known by us to be working for them.

Gratefully,
Navi.
Post actions:

Re: about whom we learned

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:59 am

None of those variants are incorrect as such, but to my ear they all sound awkward and rather unnatural.

Try instead:
She was the first woman that we {learned / found out / discovered} was working for them.
Post actions:

Re: about whom we learned

Post by navi » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:09 pm

Thank you very much, Erik,

How about:
A) She was the first woman that we learned they hired.

Is that one correct?

Gratefully,
Navi.
Post actions:

Re: about whom we learned

Post by tony h » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:13 pm

navi: are you aware of the inference in all of those statements that the they do not mean that she was the first woman they hired?

eg
Today Julie Christie is receiving her Nobel Prize for her work on gobbledegook at NATA. She was the first woman we learned was working for them (NATA). That news broke back in 1972. But since then the story of NATA research labs has shown that, in a highly secretive programme, there were women working on documenting and sequencing gobbledegook from the early 1940s. There names are celebrated in a monument to their highly important work which can be seen on NATA's southern campus.
Post actions:
Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: about whom we learned

Post by navi » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:18 am

Thank you very much, Tony,

Yes. I get that. Maybe they had hired ten thousand women before her without us learning about it.

It was an important point. I assumed it was obvious, but it wasn't. You did the right thing to point it out. Thanks a million.
You are a very good teacher. You are capable of putting yourself in the place of the learner. It is always better to underestimate a learner than to overestimate him or her. Assume I don't know! It won't hurt.

Gratefully,
Navi.
Post actions:

End of topic.
Post Reply