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Is this right to say the following sentence?

People must vote for one of these prisoners to be executed.

Is vote a bad verb for this sentence?

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closed as not a real question by Jasper Loy, kiamlaluno, Matt Эллен, Mahnax, waiwai933 Aug 23 '12 at 7:38

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
We need a bit more context. Do the people's votes decide which prisoner is to be executed (the authorities having already decided that an execution will take place)? Or will nobody be executed unless the people vote for it? I think "vote" is an odd word in this context anyway, unless the "people" are in fact members of a jury or similar. –  FumbleFingers Nov 28 '11 at 18:07
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Yes the authorities having already decided that an execution will take place and people must choose one of the prisoners. Most voted prisoner will be executed. –  Aram Alipoor Nov 28 '11 at 18:19
    
I do not see any language/ usage defect in the sentence. You probably have an issue with its political correctness (bad verb?). –  Kris Nov 29 '11 at 10:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

On the direct question: If you mean that some group of people will be presented with a list of prisoners' names, each person will choose one, and the prisoner chosen by the most people wins -- or rather loses -- then yes, the word "vote" is appropriate. If you mean that one person -- the warden, the governor, whomever -- will choose a prisoner to be executed, then you would say "select" or "choose" rather than "vote", as "vote" implies a number of people being involved. Likewise if the decision is to be made by the consensus of a committee, i.e. they don't actually vote and majority wins, but rather they talk about it until one group convinces the other or at least badgers them into silence, then again you wouldn't use the word "vote".

Side point: As worded, the statement is ambiguous as to whether the people are voting for WHICH of the prisonsers is to be executed, or they are voting for whether or not ANY of the prisoners is to be executed. If you want to indicate the first idea -- as your comment above implies -- then you should say, "People must vote for which of these prisoners is to be executed."

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I would use "nominate," "choose," or "select" rather than "vote for." (Use of those verbs makes the "for" unnecessary.)

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