In this sentence

Human sophistication has significantly advanced since the Demons last visited upon them.

one proof-reader suggested removing the word "upon."

The speaker here has been around since biblical times and would be prone to use older language constructs. I want to connote with this sentence that the Demons are coming to Earth with the express purpose of committing harm.

Does the sentence make correct use of "visited upon"?


The phrase "visited upon" means "inflicted on", so it doesn't really make sense in the way that you are trying to use it. Your proof-reader's suggestion is reasonable. You could put "since the depredations of the Demons were last visited upon them."

Alas, for the pitiful mote sins that we cannot express in words; for them that suffering is visited upon us here which we carry secretly on our wretched body.

The Flowing Light of the Godhead, Mechthild (of Magdeburg), tr. Frank J. Tobin

Google Books Ngram Viewer: visited upon


"Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord." ~ Jeremiah 23, v. 2.

  • I knew that there must be a biblical usage. I should have used a concordance. ;-) – Mick Dec 31 '16 at 1:59
  • 2
    In this sentence, visit upon correctly has "the evil of your doings" as the thing that is visited upon people. The example sentence in the user's question is trying (incorrectly) to do what this sentence does (i.e., sound biblical), but fails because the writer of the sentence doesn't have anything that is visited upon people. You don't visit upon people; you visit something upon them. So while this sentence is a good example of correct usage, it doesn't show that the original example sentence uses the phrase correctly. – Katherine Lockwood Dec 31 '16 at 2:20

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