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In writing up an answer, I wrote:

Furthermore we are cautioned that using shame punishment from a "retributive standpoint because the public can see punishment at work, it is nonproductive."

Now, I know I'm missing a comma after "furthermore", but my question is how would I remove ", it" from this quote? Using an ellipses seems like overkill, but I could be wrong.

Here is the original text:

In every case possible, judges should combine shame punishment with some utilitarian aspect. While requiring an individual to parade around a courthouse satisfies society from a retributive standpoint because the public can see punishment at work, it is nonproductive.

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    In your quote it is not obvious what 'it' stands for. It seems to refer to something you omitted. If you use ellipsis then you will change the grammar and possibly the meaning. Can you provide the whole of the original sentence? Thanks. – chasly from UK Nov 7 '15 at 2:43
  • @chaslyfromUK I've edited to include the original text. The subject is "punishment". – Sylas Seabrook Nov 7 '15 at 2:46
  • Actually the referent of 'it' is the phrase, "requiring an individual to parade around a courthouse" Therefore you would be unjustified in using ellipsis. I'll write an answer. – chasly from UK Nov 7 '15 at 2:49
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The original text is:

In every case possible, judges should combine shame punishment with some utilitarian aspect. While requiring an individual to parade around a courthouse satisfies society from a retributive standpoint because the public can see punishment at work, it is nonproductive.

You suggest the following:

Furthermore we are cautioned that using shame punishment from a "retributive standpoint because the public can see punishment at work, it is nonproductive."

However that's not what the original says (and that is why it isn't grammatical).

Here's one possibility:

Furthermore we are cautioned that "requiring an individual to parade around a courthouse ... is nonproductive."

If that is not the part you want to highlight then you have to choose a different set of words. The point is that "it is nonproductive" does not belong with "retributive standpoint because the public can see punishment at work".


If you simply want to remove the comma and 'it' then you have no alternative but to use ellipsis, thus:

Furthermore we are cautioned that using shame punishment from a "retributive standpoint because the public can see punishment at work ... is nonproductive."

  • I guess I don't fully understand your reasoning, but perhaps that's because I've read the next sentence? "Whenever possible, therefore, judges should couple shaming with some sort of community service." The point is about "shame punishment" and one instance is used as an example of the overall point. That aside, I'd like to know if there is one word to remove, how does one do so in a quote? That's really the question. Thank you for your time! – Sylas Seabrook Nov 7 '15 at 3:01
  • After re-reading my own comment, perhaps since I am trying to illustrate the point, I should not use a quote -- and that is your point. I'd still like to know about the editing of one word out of a quote. :) – Sylas Seabrook Nov 7 '15 at 3:03
  • Okay, I see your point. I've edited my answer. – chasly from UK Nov 7 '15 at 3:08
  • Thanks for the additional information. I did not take offense to your last edit where you noted it was just wrong -- I actually found that helpful b/c it points out that if we find something to be wrong, then it could be more than just what we are looking at. Feel free to restore that. – Sylas Seabrook Nov 7 '15 at 3:08

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