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Epitomized by right captainship, the ship reached safely to the harbor.

I'm emphasizing the capabilities of the captain here. Is this correct usage?

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I think this is not a valid usage of epitomise. –  FumbleFingers Jan 11 '13 at 18:12
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Once you work out epitomized, find out the correct usage of right. –  Robusto Jan 11 '13 at 18:57
    
How about this usage? "Under epitomised captainship, the ship reached safely to the harbor" –  positron Jan 12 '13 at 6:10
    
+1 Though I think you stated the question end-to-beginning or somewhat counter-intuitively. –  Kris Jan 12 '13 at 7:40
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2 Answers

Things epitomise qualities.

Epitomising sound captainship, the ship reached safety.

Better still:

He epitomised sound captainship, and brought the ship to safety.

Since ships don't really have captainship, it's a quality of the captain rather than the ship.

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Absolutely. Only people (or maybe things like "recommended procedures" - certainly not "ships") can "epitomise" any kind of captainship. And "sound" is by far the best word for "good" captainship ("right" here is completely "wrong"). –  FumbleFingers Jan 11 '13 at 21:05
    
+1 The first is what the OP meant to say and should have said. The second sentence does not mean the same thing and is not an option. –  Kris Jan 12 '13 at 7:38
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@Kris: In my language, ships can't show captainship, far less epitomise it, so the first is simply wrong. The second is possible: the fact that it doesn't mean the same as the first is if anything in its favour. –  TimLymington Jan 12 '13 at 10:57
    
@Kris, the first is grammatically correct, the second is grammatically correct and not nonsense. A ship could only possibly epitomise captainship in the sort of cartoons like "Cars" and "Thomas the Tank Engine" where vehicles are sentient and hence capable of having such qualities. –  Jon Hanna Jan 12 '13 at 12:58
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I think it would be "epitomized with right captainship", since "right captainship" is the characteristic that the ship has perfected through the captain, the ship's epitome.

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