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Would it be acceptable to replace the emphasized (genitive) construction in the following sentence

"The photographer Terry Richardson, after being accused in one documentary of sexual assault of female models, continued to work for major fashion brands until reporting on the producer Harvey Weinstein changed the landscape"

with the following (accusative) construction "sexually assaulting female models"?

Should "of" be used only in expressions such as "application of these concepts to..." while not in those such as "applying these concepts to..."? Is it correct that -ing form is generally not used in constructions such as the on in the first example ("applying of these concepts"). Is it just a matter of style?

Should it be "abandoning this paradigm calls for rethinking the concept of..." or "abandoning this paradigm calls for rethinking of the concept of..."?

I understand that English is an analytic language which has almost entirely abandoned its inflectional morphology and case system; my reference to dative/accusative cases is thus merely to indicate how I'm trying to explain this to myself.

  • Whatever else, don’t you think it’s a bad idea to use in a public discussion, including here, a real name involved in a live police investigation? – Robbie Goodwin Jan 25 '18 at 0:55
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Yes, the choice of a gerund versus some cognate noun in a genitive construction is a stylistic choice, but in most cases a superior one, especially if it can avoid the construction x of the y of the z.

Because sexual assault is the formal name of a crime of which one may be formally accused, however, being accused of sexual assault (of female models) is not the exact equivalent of sexually assaulting female models.

If, on the other hand, a definite or indefinite article is used with a gerund, then the of reappears:

applying these concepts

the applying of these concepts

Thus your third example should read:

Abandoning this paradigm calls for a rethinking of the concept...

  • Don't you think "sexually assaulting female models" is not simply acceptable but necessary, since “assault of female models” should be either “(an) assault on" or “the assault of”? Either way what’s this “formal name of a crime” consideration? How could that matter, please? – Robbie Goodwin Jan 25 '18 at 1:05
  • If we could use “(the) applying of…” why would we ever need a term like “(the) application of…” please? – Robbie Goodwin Jan 25 '18 at 1:17
  • There is a difference between a formal accusation before a magistrate and being charged with a crime and having been accused of something informally. With my two examples I was showing how the preposition reappears, not suggesting that "the applying of..." is a superior stylistic choice. – KarlG Jan 25 '18 at 1:54
  • I hope we all know the difference between formal and informal accusations and still how is that relevant here, please? Were you simply hi-lighting that "(sexual) assault" is an abstract concept and "(sexually) assaulting" an action, or what? – Robbie Goodwin Jan 25 '18 at 2:09
  • on "applying", I was trying to show that "the applying of these concepts" appears not merely an inferior style choice but too unidiomatic, even if it's acceptable in pure theory. Are you suggesting, for example, "erosion can be caused through the applying of pressure from a waterfall"? – Robbie Goodwin Jan 25 '18 at 2:10
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There are three forms to consider here:

  • Application of these concepts to new fields is not encouraged.

  • Applying these concepts to new fields is not encouraged.

  • The application of these concepts to new fields is not encouraged.

The last one is grammatically correct but stylistically heavier than the other two. So, unless it is needed to in some way clarify a complex idea there is no need for it. Below is a clarification example.

  • It was the application of these concepts to new and irrelevant fields, which concerned the authorities and made them wary of other initiatives in the same vein.

The verb apply takes a direct object.

Similarly,

"Abandoning this paradigm calls for rethinking the concept of etc...."

rethinking can also take a direct object. No need for of after rethink.

Bear in mind that there are times one might want to say:

  • The rethinking of the model was a laborious task.

Which means the same thing as:

  • Rethinking the model was a laborious task.

    However, the second one is more concise, and, therefore, more elegant stylistically. So, if there is no reason to use the x of y, don't use it is my advice.

In general, the two forms (gerund phrase versus gerund + of + noun aka "genitive") will produce the same meaning.

  • The reorganizing of the company took six months.
  • The reorganization of the company took six months.
  • Reorganizing the company took six months.
  • The company's reorganization took six months.

The trick is that when there is no need to use the x of y, it should be avoided as it can make a sentence heavy:

  • Abandoning this paradigm calls for rethinking the concept of etc...." [light]

  • Abandoning this paradigm calls for the rethinking of the concept of etc...." [needlessly heavy and wordy here].

Please note that when an active verb can take a direct object, there is no need to use the x of y form necessarily.

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