2

America's infrastructure is crumbling, and a lack of consensus in the government impedes the process of necessary enhancements that should be carried out nationwide.

I'm not too sure about the bit in bold. Obviously I'm not interested in whether it is true, but is it grammatical and idiomatic?

  • 1
    Do you perhaps mean "the progress of necessary enhancements"? Or "the process of providing necessary enhancements"? – InternetHobo Mar 17 '16 at 19:24
  • I don't really know how to say it... what I want to say is that because of the fact that there is no consensus, the infrastructure is not being rebuilt at the moment. – Zeya Van Noten Mar 17 '16 at 19:27
  • yes, exactly! "the process of providing necessary enhancements" sounds great! thanks a lot. – Zeya Van Noten Mar 17 '16 at 19:28
  • Perhaps this is a word choice question then. Does implementing work better for your meaning? You might try consulting an online thesaurus to find just the right word. – InternetHobo Mar 17 '16 at 19:29
  • 1
    It could be better, but that's really secondary to the fact that it's dancing around the topic. – Hot Licks Mar 17 '16 at 19:44
5

Yes, it is grammatical and idiomatic. The collocations check out. You can impede a process, and the agent doing the impeding can be a lack, as demonstrated by the following cites from the Corpus of the Contemporary American English:

  • Overwhelmingly, the studies concluded that the presence of cameras did not impede the process or negatively affect the participants.

  • In a final effort to impede the process of identification, Nesbit sets up a neat double bind[.]

  • Within the social disorganization framework, concentrated disadvantage impedes the process of collective efficacy.

  • Park and Herbert A. Miller noted three conditions that could significantly impede the process[.]

  • For all their efforts to impede the process of sorting out the actual from the virtual, postmodern texts live from the frustration of this process, or at least they will do so until the reader becomes blase and abandons any hope of intelligibility.

  • Yet, the search for historical evidence is impeded by the lack of verifiable descriptions or graphic representations of the disease

  • The search for therapeutic intervention has been seriously impeded by the lack of knowledge about the pathogenesis of MND.

  • Healy (1998) is concerned that when young children spend an overabundance of time with computers, the development of the child's brain may be impeded by a lack of social interaction with others.

  • It's just that the development of those writers is being impeded by the lack of production.

The Corpus has more cites for your perusal.

Whether or not this is the best choice stylistically in a given situation, is a different question that you have to answer yourself. This is certainly not the lowest register and can be considered a bit of a mouthful or outright grandiloquent depending on what you're writing.


Edit in reply to comments: as others have pointed out, another thing that needs addressing is the "the process of necessary enhancements" bit. This does sound off, a better wording would be "the making of necessary enhancements" or "the process of making the necessary enhancements". (Or "implementing" or "providing" or "carrying out", or what have you.)

At which point you yourself will probably note that this is a bit of a mouthful indeed. The whole "the X of" bit is rather redundant in the first place and can simply be discarded altogether. Though again, we're talking style here, not grammar.

| improve this answer | |
  • I agree that a process can be impeded, and a lack of something can be an impeding agent. However, this answer doesn't seem to actually address this main issue I was concerned about. I'm not altogether convinced that "necessary enhancements" in the example sentence are in themselves intended to represent a process. It seems like the enhancements should be the result of a process, not the process itself. – InternetHobo Mar 17 '16 at 20:07
  • 1
    We just need to stick making in there: ...the process of making necessary enhancements. – TRomano Mar 17 '16 at 23:12
  • google.com/… – TRomano Mar 17 '16 at 23:14
  • Yes, all valid points. Editing to address them. – RegDwigнt Mar 18 '16 at 17:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.