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We really have abundant false names and hypocritical formulae, especially in some formal and public speeches the truth of which is not the concern of the speakers. (self-made)

Many people feel uncomforatble with the use of the structure "natural object + whose +xx". So I will stick to use the incontroversial structure. But the way it is used here makes the whole sentence too long and awkward. How to write it in a more fluent way?

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  • Apart from your question, I'd like to recommend using truly instead of really. Your sentence sounds rather formal. (The word "formal" might not even sound right. It's beyond formal, it sounds as if it was a law, or a sermon to me.) Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 13:15
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    The reason English uses the structure "natural object + whose" is that we don't have the relative pronounce "whats" which you can use as in "public speeches whats truth is not …". If you stubbornly refuse to use the structure English has for this case, you end up having to use awkward structures. Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 13:40
  • Peter,thank you for giving me more confidence in using that structure.
    – benlogos
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 16:04
  • @PeterShor, it does sound quite awkward, though, to say, “Formal and public speeches whose truth is not the concern of the speakers”. Very awkward. ‘The truth of X’ is idiomatic, and ‘X’s truth’ is not an equivalent to it. I can’t think of a non-awkward way to rephrase this, and I think ‘the truth of which’ is perhaps the lesser of all evils here. “Formal and public speeches where the truth of the speech is not the concern of the speaker” could work, too, but it equally clumsy. Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 12:50

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I agree with one of the comments that "the truth of which" is perhaps the least of things making this sentence awkward. It is difficult to know if a rephrasing loses any important nuance without more context around the sentence, but I might rephrase it as:

We have no lack of false names and hypocritical formulae, especially in public speeches, where truth is not the speakers' concern.

Some words that seemed superfluous: "really" and "formal" (can't public speeches typically be assumed to be formal?). Using "where" as a conjunction to replace the "of which" construction seems more natural to me than "whose", but I think "whose" would be acceptable too.

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Perhaps the awkwardness arises from the butting of the two nouns "speeches" and "the truth".

The word order of the bolded phrase in the OP's sentence can be inverted

especially in some formal and public speeches of which the truth is not the concern of the speakers.

to relieve a degree of clumsiness.

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You can also use:

. . . especially in some formal and public speeches where the truth is not the concern of the speakers.

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