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My full quotation is for a formal letter to a university president, congratulating her on becoming president.

"Under your leadership, I believe that Anytown University will continue to attest to its highest academic standards and contribute to the further advancement of higher education."

Is this correct, or can attesting only be done by a person?

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  • I don't think "attest" is the correct word here. Which sense of "attest" did you have in mind?
    – phoog
    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:51
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    I didn't - this is a translation I would very much like to improve, but I would like some justification. "It doesn't sound right" lacks a certain rigor.
    – Kyle
    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:39
  • Perhaps in that case it would be best to refer to the original text.
    – phoog
    Sep 24, 2015 at 22:44

1 Answer 1

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Attest means to vouch for or provide evidence to something which I don't think the president would be doing. Attain should be the word used here if the highest status hasn't been achieved yet or maintain if otherwise.

"Under your leadership, I believe the Anytown University will continue to maintain its highest academic standards and contribute to the further advancement of higher education."

or

"Under your leadership, I believe the Anytown University will attain its highest academic standards and contribute to the further advancement of higher education."
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    Isn't 'continue to maintain' redundant in this context? Simply 'maintain' says the same thing, no?
    – Jim Mack
    Sep 30, 2014 at 11:28
  • Nicely caught Jim, it certainly is a tautological phrase.
    – nimsrules
    Sep 30, 2014 at 12:49

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