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For example, does the following sentence violate any grammar rules?

"Global Connections" will be showcasing internship opportunities, job openings and training programs at, challenges and issues facing, and the latest information on 30 leading global businesses.

I realize that there may be alternative ("better") ways of phrasing the above but I am not interested in improving this specific sentence; I just want to confirm whether the above structure is generally permissible according to the rules of English grammar.

I would like to emphasize that I am not looking to have the above example sentence proofread. I would like to know, first, whether it is acceptable to group nouns sharing a preposition in the fashion that I have and, second, whether it is acceptable to do this multiple times (i.e. for other nouns affiliated with other shared prepositions) in the same sentence. My gut feeling tells me that it constitutes an over-usage of "and" in the same sentence but does not specifically violate any grammar rules. I would like to know for sure whether this is the case or perhaps there exists some grammar rule I am not familiar with.

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    It violates the grammar rule which takes precedence of all other grammar rules: Thou shalt not confuse the reader. – StoneyB Feb 28 '14 at 2:04
  • @StoneyB: I just got stiffed on the last Q! Here was my text... I know what you mean. Personally I think it would be easier to treat "adjectives" as a subset of "adverbs" anyway. In the specific context here, you can argue that clean modifies either the verb or the object of that verb. Which I think is a sterile argument in the first place. What about "Wash it away", "Brush it aside", "Talk it up", "Tale it up", "Take it seriously? Where do you want to draw the line. Pointless, I say - just define "adverb" a bit more broadly. – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '14 at 2:14
  • Anyway, this Q is proofreading. The commas are all over the shop, but I'm not willing to even plough on to the end of the text. – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '14 at 2:16
  • @FumbleFingers I was very confused there for a while - was the Q deleted? – StoneyB Feb 28 '14 at 2:20
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    @user66911: In advance of what? I'm afraid as it stands, the question is Off Topic. From the FAQ: please, don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site. Proofreading ("are there any mistakes?"), unless the source of concern is clearly specified – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '14 at 4:35
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I'm going to stick my neck out and say that there's no grammatical rule that disbars OP's example.

But it's appalling English, which can't possibly be endorsed. It's like saying...

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

...is a suitable way of expressing the two statements...

Those buffaloes from Buffalo that are intimidated by buffaloes from Buffalo intimidate buffaloes from Buffalo.
Bison from Buffalo, New York, who are intimidated by other bison in their community, also happen to intimidate other bison in their community.

It's English, Jim, but not as we know it.

  • I find your usage of Buffalo to be quite Buffalo, sir! – David M Feb 28 '14 at 5:22
  • @David: One must work and make do with, take advantage of, and not be disrespectful towards any animals that can help us fight the good fight against illiteracy! – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '14 at 5:28
  • Have you seen a buffalo up close and personal? I have, and believe me, if it forced me to learn to read, I would learn very quickly. (BTW - I used the proper noun Buffalo in my comment!) – David M Feb 28 '14 at 5:32
  • ha ha ha @grammarians' humor – user66911 Feb 28 '14 at 6:21
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The construction is generally called a "right node-raising" construction, following Paul Postal. What things are grouped together in each conjunct is not of direct significance -- instead, what matters is that you start out with conjuncts having one constituent in common at the end of each conjunct, then this constituent is lost in every conjunct, but appears once at the end. Wikipedia has an entry for Right node raising.

Your example is a real monster, but grammatical, though there ought to be a comma between "on" and "30" (since a constituent has been lost from this position, causing an intonation break).

We begin with:

"Global Connections" will be showcasing internship opportunities, job openings and training programs at 30 leading global businesses, challenges and issues facing 30 leading global businesses, and the latest information on 30 leading global businesses.

The node that is raised is joined to the end of the entire conjunction:

"Global Connections" will be showcasing internship opportunities, job openings and training programs at 30 leading global businesses, challenges and issues facing 30 leading global businesses, and the latest information on 30 leading global businesses, [30 leading global businesses].

Then the raised node serves as antecedent for deleting the preceding like occurrences, each of which leaves behind an intonation break (a "gap").

There are competing analyses of this construction -- I given what is more or less Postal's original analysis.

Since a basic constraint on right node raising is that the raised node must be a single constituent, it is often useful in grammatical analysis in detecting whether an interesting string of words is, in fact, a single constituent.

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In your sentence, "and the latest information on" is a parenthetical insertion and consequently there should be a comma after on.

"Global Connections" will be showcasing internship opportunities, job openings and training programs at, challenges and issues facing, and the latest information on, 30 leading global businesses.

That said, "[and] challenges and issues facing" is also a parenthetical insertion. Having more than one is unusual, probably unexpected and possibly confusing. Inserting the final comma helps, but you should probably recast the sentence.

"Global Connections" will be presenting the latest information on thirty leading global businesses, showcasing their internship opportunities, job openings and training programs, and the challenges and issues they face.

The final clause might be split off into a separate sentence.

[I prefer spelling out numbers under 101 which are a multiple of ten.]

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