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I apologize if this is a broad question.

My friend and I have been arguing about the following sentence for 2 hours. I think that there is something missing in the following sentence. Though, I am not a native English speaker, the sentence doesn't sound good to me. Are there any tips or guidelines to know whether a sentence is meaningful or not? Or is this is just based on personal English knowledge and intuition? I agree that there are English Grammar rules for writing correct sentences, but I am also looking for clarity in the sentence. Moreover, I think that there should be a better word instead of describes.

Could someone resolve this, please? It would be great if you pointout any grammatical mistakes in the sentence.

In this article, he describes how a choice made by three computer science legends 30 years ago produced dangerous consequences and in the worse it took 15 years for getting a realization about this.

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Hi kkp--I agree, your question is pretty broad. It sounds like you have two questions here: tips on figuring out if a statement is meaningful, and also correcting the sentence. Is that right? –  simchona Aug 26 '11 at 5:09
    
@simchona: Yes. –  samarasa Aug 26 '11 at 5:17
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The part of the sentence that seems dubious to me is:

... and in the worse it took 15 years for getting a realization about this.

The part preceding that, 'describes' and all, is completely acceptable (and could be terminated as a sentence before the 'and').

The part afterwards is wrong. Explaining why is harder than stating the fact.

One trouble is 'in the worse' is not an English idiom. I think that 'what is worse' would fit the context reasonably well.

The other trouble is 'for getting a realization about this'; that is not regular English either. Again, in the context, something like 'before people realized that this was a problem'.

Assembling these variants yields:

In this article, he describes how a choice made by three computer science legends 30 years ago produced dangerous consequences, and (what is worse) it took 15 years before people realized that this was a problem.

You might want to insert a 'that' before 'it took', though it isn't 100% necessary.

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First of all, this sentence is perfectly grammatical.

Now, "describes" has several meanings, and in this sentence, it could mean "relate about an incident", or "discuss in detail"

Because "describe" has several meanings, it could cause confusion, and so, as you are looking for clarity in sentences, I would suggest using the words "expound" or "related", as suiting the purpose, whether the article is merely telling about the incident, or discussing about the incident in detail :

In this article, he expounds on how a choice....
In this article, he relates how a choice

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