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I came across the following sentence in an article:

All is fair in love and war, even trying to add a static type system in a dynamically typed programming language.

Is the use of "even" correct here? It feels slightly off for me but I can't put my finger on why. And what about that comma? Should it be a semicolon?

  • It looks to me like there is a missing "when" or "while"...."All is fair in love and war, even when trying to add a static type system...." – Kristina Lopez Apr 16 '15 at 18:13
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    I'm not sure the when fits the intention here. Adding a type system is a dirty action that they were trying to say is fair to do in times of love and war. Maybe keeping the even and getting rid of the trying is better? "All is fair [...], even adding a static type system [...]"? – hugomg Apr 16 '15 at 18:16
  • The bigger issue here is whether trying to add a static type system in a dynamically typed programming language involves love, war, or both—because if it's unrelated to either, the cliché about love and war has no business leading off the sentence. – Sven Yargs Apr 18 '15 at 7:59
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Seeing the meaning you wish to achieve, the sentence should be -

"All is fair in love and war, even adding a static type system in a dynamically typed programming language."

And the comma is good enough here. You use semicolon to separate two clauses and each of the clause can be a sentence on its own. But in your case the second sentence depends on the first.

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Even is used for comparisons:

1.1 Used in comparisons for emphasis:

oxforddictionaries.com

All other stylistic considerations aside, if it is your intention to compare the "objectionable fairness" of adding a static type system in a dynamically typed programming language to the "objectionable fairness" of love and war, then even seems to be the word.

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  • Objectionable fairness :-) – ScotM Apr 16 '15 at 19:24
  • And is the comma fine? I'm always a bit confused if I should use a semicolon or not. – hugomg Apr 16 '15 at 20:42

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