Epitomized by right captainship, the ship reached safely to the harbor.

I'm emphasizing the capabilities of the captain here. Is this correct usage?

  • 2
    I think this is not a valid usage of epitomise. – FumbleFingers Jan 11 '13 at 18:12
  • 2
    Once you work out epitomized, find out the correct usage of right. – Robusto Jan 11 '13 at 18:57
  • How about this usage? "Under epitomised captainship, the ship reached safely to the harbor" – positron Jan 12 '13 at 6:10
  • +1 Though I think you stated the question end-to-beginning or somewhat counter-intuitively. – Kris Jan 12 '13 at 7:40

Things epitomise qualities.

Epitomising sound captainship, the ship reached safety.

Better still:

He epitomised sound captainship, and brought the ship to safety.

Since ships don't really have captainship, it's a quality of the captain rather than the ship.

  • Absolutely. Only people (or maybe things like "recommended procedures" - certainly not "ships") can "epitomise" any kind of captainship. And "sound" is by far the best word for "good" captainship ("right" here is completely "wrong"). – FumbleFingers Jan 11 '13 at 21:05
  • +1 The first is what the OP meant to say and should have said. The second sentence does not mean the same thing and is not an option. – Kris Jan 12 '13 at 7:38
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    @Kris: In my language, ships can't show captainship, far less epitomise it, so the first is simply wrong. The second is possible: the fact that it doesn't mean the same as the first is if anything in its favour. – TimLymington Jan 12 '13 at 10:57
  • @Kris, the first is grammatically correct, the second is grammatically correct and not nonsense. A ship could only possibly epitomise captainship in the sort of cartoons like "Cars" and "Thomas the Tank Engine" where vehicles are sentient and hence capable of having such qualities. – Jon Hanna Jan 12 '13 at 12:58

I think it would be "epitomized with right captainship", since "right captainship" is the characteristic that the ship has perfected through the captain, the ship's epitome.

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