The Government has decided to introduce the new scheme for the upliftment of poor.

Should it be "of the poor" or not?

  • Without the definite article, poor does not refer to anything in particular, certainly not the poor people as should be. – Kris Sep 19 '12 at 11:39
  • Upliftment? How about "...for uplifting the poor." (I'm not going down the no-such-word road, but it does seem rare or unusual at best). – J.R. Sep 19 '12 at 15:00

Yes, the poor is correct.

The reason is that poor on its own is an adjective, which invites the question "poor what?". To turn it definitively into a noun it needs to be the poor.

Having said that, I did find a quote where just poor is used, in the Hindustan Times:

The Delhi government does not have an estimate of the number of poor living in the metropolis.

This indicates that it may be an acceptable Indian-English idiom.

As an aside, upliftment is awkward. Uplift is better; improvement or betterment better still.

  • The number of poor is acceptable everywhere, I'd say. – Matt E. Эллен Sep 19 '12 at 11:09
  • Yes, because it implies 'people' - the number of poor people, which is evidently correct. – Guy F-W Sep 19 '12 at 11:16
  • 2
    However @GuyF-W, "... for the upliftment of poor." definitely doesn't work in BrEng. Poor is an uncountable noun there, so it needs an article or to be turned into an adjective. – Matt E. Эллен Sep 19 '12 at 11:25
  • +1 for pointing out that upliftment is an awkward word (espoused by Indian English in particular?). Agreed, betterment is much better. – FumbleFingers Sep 19 '12 at 12:54
  • for uplift of the poor or for uplifting the poor are OK, but with improve or better you need something more: the scheme does not improve or better the poor, but their condition. – StoneyB Sep 19 '12 at 14:24

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