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Where should "in its entirety" be used in place of "in entirety"?

Consider the following paragraphs. Which usage is correct, and is the alternative incorrect / less correct, or simply not as common?

"We received a lot of information. Therefore, we elected to relay it in entirety."

"We received a lot of information. Therefore, we elected to relay it in its entirety."

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  • Both are perfectly acceptable in my opinion.
    – Ronan
    Apr 2, 2014 at 10:40

2 Answers 2

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Oxford Dictionary only lists "in its entirety", as does Cambridge (I checked for both US and UK English).

Moreover, "in its entirety" is significantly more common: in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, "in entirety" appears 11 times, compared to the 576 times that "in its entirety" appears.

One possible reason for this is that "in entirety" could result (in many pronunciations) in the same syllable being repeated: /*ɪn ɪn*ˈtʌɪərəti/, while the longer version breaks up the two identical syllables: /*ɪn ɪts ɪn*ˈtʌɪərəti/, making it easier to pronounce perhaps, or even just making it sound better.

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both are generally acceptable based on the premise. but the first line is comparatively extra pertinent than the other.

a "lot of information" is described here it its whole. that's generally perceived as a large number, more often than not, but not as a rule. information, regardless of how quantitatively rich, can be perceived as (pertinently) qualitative, if you get my drift. ie., even a lttle can be valuable

therefore the former "in entirety" is more descriptive than "in its entirety."

the latter can be thought to describe a single unit of information. in your example, the set of information is generally a very laden value (if something is considered for "relay" rather just "transfer" I'd say it's quantitative as well as qualitative.) But since it could also be limited/small in quantity, the second line can't be incorrect if used.

(this is a personal intellectual analysis and doesn't site nothing.. duh, obviously?)

I'd use the first line in a blink. make no mistake, in this case, both sentences are not unlike correct. effort perseverance courage venom

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