Is this sentence:

On the Application to Dynamics of a General Mathematical Method previously applied to Optics.

The same as this one?

On the Application of a General Mathematical Method to Dynamics previously applied to Optics.

Is this just stylistic or is there more to it?

Or do these two mean completely different things?

  • Your first example sentence is missing... – John Feltz Jul 23 '18 at 20:35
  • I fixed it. Sorry about that, made a typo. – FroztC0 Jul 23 '18 at 20:41
  • 1
    Those aren't sentences; they're sentence fragments, possibly used as titles. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 23 '18 at 20:56
  • 1
    Then they don't follow the same grammar rules as sentences. – John Lawler Jul 23 '18 at 21:37
  • 1
    Unless you mean to talk about "dynamics [that were] previously applied to optics," the first version of your title is much superior to the second. The first version clearly states that it is the "method [that was] previously applied to optics." – Sven Yargs Jul 26 '18 at 2:31

I think the issue here is intelligibility rather than grammar. Obviously they are not sentences but that is irrelevant in the title of a book or a paper. Personally I find that the first is clear, and second keeps me waiting too long for the punchline. The reader needs to be able to see quickly what the subject matter is. In the first it is there in the first four words. In the second the reader has to wait until the tenth word to find the key "dynamics".

| improve this answer | |
  • So it's stylistic then? Obviously both are correct I presume, But it's about presenting the reader with the relevant and important information first right? I may not have worded that clearly but hope you understand. – FroztC0 Jul 23 '18 at 21:39
  • Yes. The second is grammatical but very complicated. I was almost counting on my fingers as I read it. Unless you have a very good reason not to do so you should try to make life easy for your intended readers. – JeremyC Jul 23 '18 at 21:43
  • It would be nice to know why someone anonymous downvoted. – JeremyC Jul 26 '18 at 19:28

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