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After editing a question recently, the OP undid those edits stating he did not like the bad changes I made with regards to the grammar of the post. The author originally wrote:

Nobody in this community, including myself, has high enough a score to re-open questions.

Irrelevant to my question here, I made the edit because score and reputation are different concepts. So I changed it to:

Nobody in this community, including myself, has a high enough reputation to re-open questions.

With respect to grammar, I assume the OP took offence to me changing "high enough a" to "a high enough".

While I think either choice would be fine, my two questions are:

  • Is there anything wrong with either phrasing?
  • Is there an actual difference in meaning between the two?
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The OP's version should be "has high enough of a score to re-open questions". Though I've heard versions of "high enough a", it's really more casual usage that you'd find in spoken language, like "kinda" instead of "kind of" and "wanna" instead of "want to". IMO, written English, unless it's intended to show a regional dialect, should not use these shortcuts, as a general rule. – Kristina Lopez Sep 6 '13 at 13:28
I see nothing wrong with either version, and I wouldn't necessarily insert the of as @KristinaLopez has suggested. Personally, I would say that the first format is tending to archaic, but I would use a similar format occasionally. I might argue that high-enough should be hyphenated in the second version because it is a compound adjective. – TrevorD Sep 6 '13 at 14:06
There are stylistic limits on forming pre-modifying compound adjectives, though where the boundaries are seems as vague as in many areas of English. Being a don't-rock-the-boat-just-for-effect-or-convenience sort of person, I'd play safe with 'Nobody in this community, including myself, has a reputation high enough to allow re-opening of questions.' or 'Nobody in this community, including myself, has a sufficiently high reputation to re-open questions.' – Edwin Ashworth Sep 6 '13 at 16:45
Thank you all for the great insights. Frankly, they could all have been decent answers in my book. – Bart Sep 7 '13 at 15:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would tend to use "a high enough ...", as "she has a high enough score" seems better than "she has high enough a score" or "she has high enough of a score", though the intended meaning is clear enough in all three cases.

"a high enough ..." clearly wins an Google Ngram analysis

enter image description here

as it cannot find "high enough of a ..." and most of the few "high enough a ..." examples have punctuation between enough and a, so do not have this sense.

Remove the high and I would use "enough of a ..." as in "she has enough of a score" rather than "she has an enough score" or "she has enough a score", and I find the last two somewhat grating.

Even better might be "she has scored enough" so perhaps also "she has scored highly enough", though the highly is possibly superfluous.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer and the interesting link. Much appreciated. – Bart Sep 7 '13 at 15:23

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