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I understand that you can say, "within 30 days of receiving your application", but I am seeing more and more "within 30 days after your application is received". Is the latter grammatical?

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Well, I'd be happier if it were your application; and if I were inclined to niggle I'd ask for the 30 days; but it's hopeless trying to explain these matters to law-trained bureaucrats and their compliance overseers. They inhabit a very different speech community. –  StoneyB Mar 25 '13 at 5:17
    
English has one simple rule - as long as it is logical, it is usable. –  Blessed Geek Mar 25 '13 at 8:48

2 Answers 2

I see no grammar issues with either of “within 30 days of receiving your application” or “within 30 days after your application is received”. I prefer the phrase “within 30 days of receipt of application” or “within 30 days of receipt of completed application”. The number 30 can be replaced by 90 without affecting grammaticality.

‘within’ and ‘after’ are both performing a similar function and therefore ... should not both be used in the one construction

While at first glance it may seem that using both of within and after is redundant, in point of fact using both words removes an element of ambiguity present in both of the other constructions. Although “within 30 days” is often interpreted as meaning “within 30 days after”, it can also be interpreted as “within 30 days before or after”. Typically, one interpretation or the other is obvious, and after need not be explicitly mentioned. The slight redundancy it introduces is unimportant. In short, add the word after or leave it out as you prefer.

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I am thinking that 'within' and 'after' are both performing a similar function and therefore that they should not both be used in the one construction. –  Lil144 Mar 25 '13 at 6:15
    
@MelindaGrose, I added a note –  jwpat7 Mar 25 '13 at 6:29

The phrase "within 30 days after your application is received" is incorrect.

I can provide two possible explanations:

  1. Redundancy:

    Including the adposition within and the adposition after is redundant, as both words serve the same purpose.

  2. Logic:

    Something that is within a time period cannot fall after the same time period.

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An utterance doesn't become ungrammatical just because it's redundant or illogical, though. It's perfectly correct, even normal, for me to load a statement with redundancy: "Hi! I'm so very happy to see you today! I'm glad you came!" The absurd or illogical can also easily be grammatical: "Your cat sat on the mat and didn't fall into the sky?" –  aedia λ Mar 27 '13 at 21:36
    
@aediaλ I never claimed that there was a grammatical error. I claimed that there is a usage error. On the topic of redundancy, Elements of Style states "a sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." I use this as a basis for my first claim. When I speak of logic, I speak of logic from the standpoint of mathematical or temporal logic. A statement may be grammatically sound, however that does not make the statement correct. –  MisterCrazy8 Mar 27 '13 at 22:30

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