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My goal in asking this question is to learn to name my errors. I write many sentences and think, "that's not right," and then I change it to make it sound better. It usually works well (and my boss is happy) but I want to know why they are not right.

My current problem sentence is in bold: We dream of the day when our services are no longer needed, but know that the demand continues to increase. Furthering this demand is the ever-expanding awareness of our resources.

I would change it to: This demand is furthered by the ever-expanding awareness of our resources. (Feel free to provide suggestions on this one to, or tell me what grammar terms you would use to define how I have changed this).

Context: I am writing a fundraising proposal and trying to explain why the demand for our published resources is increasing. We provide services to the poor.

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As a purely stylistic note I would suggest that strengthening would sound better than furthering. The choice is of course subjective and entirely up to you. –  John Bartholomew Jun 10 '11 at 15:18

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I see no grammatical errors in the sentence.

However, I find it very hard to make sense of.

I would initially parse it as a copular sentence: [furthering this demand] is [the ever...], with 'furthering this demand' as the subject: parallel to "Giving gifts is a sign of generosity".

But that doesn't make a lot of sense, and from your paraphrase (which has a horrible, horrible, passive), it seems to me that the sentence is inverted, with [the ever-expanding ... ] as the subject. Again, grammatical, though rather literary: like "Walking along the road was a man".

Given that the awareness is the subject, I would prefer either:

The ever-expanding awareness of our resources furthers this demand.

which is still a bit unclear, though would be made more readable by an adverb such as "constantly" before "furthers"; or the cleft sentence:

What furthers this demand is the ever-expanding awareness of our resources.

(or 'something that furthers this demand' if the "what" is too inclusive).

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Since I am new, I cannot vote this up, but thank you for applying your expertise to my question. I will "chew" on this for a while, and let you know if I have any follow-up questions. –  Brian Dant Jun 10 '11 at 15:07
    
@PeelTheOnion You actually don't have to vote up -- since you asked the question, when you're ready, you can click the check mark next to the answer that was the most helpful for you. This will show everyone you've "accepted" an answer. :) –  aedia λ Jun 10 '11 at 18:08

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