There is no other harsher critic than yourself.

I'm really stumped on this one. The more I read it the less correct it sounds. I think the word harsher is making the sentence sound fairly off putting.

Other variations include:

There is no harsher critic other than yourself.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • 1
    I would drop the "other" because it's implied by the "no .. than yourself", thus: "there is no critic harsher than youself". Point of interest: this is not true. – Dan Bron Aug 15 '14 at 18:20
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/189095 – tchrist Aug 15 '14 at 18:26
  • Hey @DanBron, thank you very much for the correction! There I go thinking I need to add more words when using less words sufficed. Thanks again :) – Raja Aug 15 '14 at 18:26
  • @Dan Bron "There is no harsher critic than yourself" sounds slightly better to me. – Mark Raishbrook Aug 15 '14 at 22:42
  • @Mark: works for me, too. – Dan Bron Aug 15 '14 at 22:42

If you're interested, even remotely in form, grammatically sound prose is only the first and most base layer. Proper sentence and good sentence structure do not necessarily follow one another invariably. As in literal art; literary art must move from the real to abstract, the leanest rudiments inevitably compounding into formless substance.

Yes, the sentence is indeed grammatically sound. However, it's abhorrently ugly and massively clunky.

I would rather be unsound and sound good than be typographically feckless and have 'proper' sentiment. Your construction above is a fine example of this.

Read "On Writing Well".

"Oneself often always offers the harshest critique."

  • Hi @thegenesisbloke, thank you very much for the thorough breakdown. I do apologise as my reputation is quite low so I currently can not up vote your answer. But when I do I'll return to this question. I'll take a look at the On Writing Well book to improve my sentence structure. Thanks again! – Raja Aug 16 '14 at 0:17

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