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Which is the correct (or more correct) version of this phrase and why?

  1. Bridging ancient wisdom with contemporary science
  2. Bridging ancient wisdom and contemporary science.
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Niether one of them works as a stand alone sentence. They are sentence fragments. What are you trying to say? What is the context? –  Jim Mar 3 '13 at 4:31
    
Jim, the phrase is a tagline. So basically we're trying to convey that we bridge/combine ancient wisdom with modern/contemporary science. It has a locative quality to it I think...yoking wisdom to science and carrying both into the future. Because of that, I'm slightly more inclined to use "with," but since I am not very good at grammar, I wanted to ask people here! –  Quinn Mar 3 '13 at 19:43
    
It's not a grammatical problem but a semantic problem. You can, as Jim points out, "bridge a river with a trampoline", but you can't "bridge ancient wisdom with science": it doesn't make semantic sense. You can "bridge ancient wisdom AND science", however, because then you're connecting (= bridging) them. That's the point: semantics, not grammar. –  user21497 Mar 4 '13 at 1:06
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1 Answer

I'd say that Bridging ancient wisdom AND contemporary science is the proper introductory phrase. When bridging two entities, one erects a bridge between them. The bridge is the connector. One doesn't *"bridge A with Z" but one "combines A with Z". Different words, different usage rules.

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What about bridging a river or bridging a canyon? All of the definitions I see focus as much or more on a bridge being a structure that spans and provides a passage over something. Of course we all know that a bridge also spans between. Likewise for the verb. My point is that it isn't clear at all which is right from the information given. I might bridge a river with a trampoline (fastcodesign.com/1671052/…) Of course that would be so much fun that I wouldn't really care where it bridges from or to. –  Jim Mar 3 '13 at 5:10
    
Bridging a river with trampolines is really cool! –  0arch Mar 3 '13 at 6:44
    
@Jim: Yes, but one doesn't talk about bridging ancient wisdom with contemporary science in the same way one talks about bridging a canyon to pass over the chasm or the river beneath. Sometimes analyzing the semantics of the phrase helps in the absence of a concrete context. Frankly, using "bridging ancient wisdom with contemporary science" to mean "passing over ancient wisdom with contemporary science" would demonstrate intolerable stupidity by the writer; "replacing ancient wisdom with contemporary science" seems more like it to me. One can also bridge (connect) Internet connections. –  user21497 Mar 3 '13 at 6:49
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I do. But I have a vivid imagination. I'll have to overlook your pejorative reply. –  Jim Mar 3 '13 at 7:19
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