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.

I am proof-reading a short CV that details an employee's volunteer achievements. It will form part of an application for a committee position. The following sentence makes my brain itch, but I am having trouble deciding:

  1. Why it sounds wrong (something with the tense, I think)
  2. How it should be written

I am fortunate to have been named as chair of this board shortly after I joined.

A little help would be appreciated!

share|improve this question
    
Does "I am fortunate to have been named as chair of this board shortly after I joined it." fix the problem? If it does, can somebody explain why? –  Peter Shor Mar 17 '11 at 17:01
3  
The "as" sounds out of place to me. I think it would be better without it. –  John Mar 17 '11 at 17:01
    
@John: good call. It definitely reads better without the "as". –  e.James Mar 17 '11 at 17:29
    
+1 for "makes my brain itch". (Been there, done that.) –  Marthaª Mar 17 '11 at 17:40
    
Can anyone suggest a better title for this question? There could easily be thousands of questions with the same. –  e.James Mar 17 '11 at 21:11
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Perhaps

I was fortunate to be named chair of this board shortly after I joined.

Or, if you don't want to emphasize how lucky you were,

I was named chair of this board shortly after I joined.

share|improve this answer
    
Much better! The candidate does want to emphasize their luck, so the first sentence would be my first choice. Thank you. –  e.James Mar 17 '11 at 17:15
    
+1, hehe, yes the second is better - modesty can easily be misread –  Tom Mar 17 '11 at 17:16
3  
@e.James Why, where they actually incompetent, but no-one realised? –  Tom Mar 17 '11 at 17:17
    
@Tom: fair point, and quite funny when you put it that way! :) I am doing my best not to modify the meaning of the document. My role is to proof read the spelling, grammar and sentence structure. –  e.James Mar 17 '11 at 17:24
    
@Tom: I passed on your interpretation to the author, and he has decided to go with the second sentence. He says thank you :) –  e.James Mar 17 '11 at 21:09
add comment

If it is tense/aspect that you are after, then maybe:

I am fortunate to have been named as chair of this board shortly after I had joined.

The simple past of 'I joined' doesn't stick it in sequence very definitively (the 'shortly after' does of course).

share|improve this answer
add comment

I was fortunate to be named chair of the board shortly after I joined.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It sounds like you have the worm. This sentence has an overly formal sound to it. Try this:

Fortunately, I became chair of the board once I joined.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for your excellent link, although I feel that your sentence conveys a slightly different meaning from the original. –  e.James Mar 17 '11 at 19:09
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.