Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it correct to write

Newcastle disease is economically significant because of the huge mortality and morbidity associated with it.

share|improve this question
    
I would certainly employ an article in the circumstances, but I don't think it is essential. –  WS2 Jan 2 at 9:12
    
Hi, Monica, and welcome to EL&U. –  medica Jan 2 at 9:48
    
I upvoted Susan's reply, below. If this is a formal paper, I would go with "the extremely high rate of mortality and morbidity". On the content: I have seen Newcastle disease ravage populations which is a shame because it's so easily preventable. Unfortunately, those who most need the inoculant are often least able to afford it. –  Davïd Jan 2 at 11:23
    
I am American and think the the is necessary in this case. Like @David, I find the use of huge here odd. –  virmaior Jan 2 at 14:48
add comment

2 Answers

It is, because mortality is made definite by associated with it. When such modification occurs after the noun, it is known as 'cataphoric'.

share|improve this answer
1  
Thank you very much. –  Monika Jan 2 at 9:29
    
I did a quick search of the British Medical literature, then one of British newspapers, and found that it is no different in GB than in the US. In this case, it's not a matter of grammar, but one of common usage. Or, one can say it is ungrammatical in hundreds of English usages weekly. I maintain the former. –  medica Jan 2 at 22:27
add comment

To my ear, it sounds strange. Maybe it's just an American thing, but we tend to refer to mortality and morbidity without an article, and when we use the, it is usually expressed as *the _ rate*.

  • Placental Abruption and Perinatal Mortality in the United States
  • They took into consideration not just mortality and morbidity, but also quality of life, which is an essential measure...
  • The rate of coronary heart disease mortality was greater among lumberjacks...
  • We find that for high-seniority male workers, mortality rates in the year after displacement...
  • Societies that have achieved the lowest levels of maternal mortality have done so by...
  • What is the mortality and morbidity rate of thyroidectomy?
  • The realities of maternal mortality and morbidity in the developing world...
share|improve this answer
4  
American here, sounds weird to me WITHOUT the 'the'. –  Rob Jan 2 at 14:32
    
It might be because I'm a physician. We don't use the article, not in speaking and certainly not in writing about morbidity, mortality, or both. The only time it sounds 'normal' is if one starts the sentence with M/M; then, we might say, The mortality (now, see? I wanted to type rate). We have M&M rounds. Not the M&M rounds. While TB mortality has declined fairly steadily, morbidity has been rising. —Time. That's not limited to medical professions. –  medica Jan 2 at 14:53
    
I think Barrie England's answer shows the difference -- yes, if you drop the 'associated with it' portion of the sentence, the definite article sounds odd. With it, leaving off the article sounds odd. –  PeterL Jan 2 at 15:31
    
@PeterL - I'm sorry, but I disagree with Barrie as well. –  medica Jan 2 at 15:34
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.