Proper verb tense and possible rewrite of paragraph

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My friend suggested that I change the verb tense in the third sentense of this paragraph.  I have included original paragraph, her suggested edits and then a rewrite of the paragraph which may be better.

 

Original
The years 1893, 1894 and 1895 were considered immensely prosperous years for the jewelry industry. A new phenomenon of the “Five and Ten” store provided the ideal venue to sell the less expensive jewelry more than ever before, and the consumer demand surged. This drove the industry to expand and develop new ways of producing goods more efficiently with machinery such as the automatic drop press, screw machines, and chain mesh machines.

 

Suggested Edit By Friend
The years 1893, 1894 and 1895 were considered immensely prosperous years for the jewelry industry. A new phenomenon of the “Five and Ten” store provided the ideal venue to sell the less expensive jewelry than ever before, and the consumer demand surged. This drove the industry into expanding and developing new ways of producing goods more efficiently with machinery such as the automatic drop press, screw machines, and chain mesh machines.

 

My Possible Rewrite

The years 1893, 1894 and 1895 were considered immensely prosperous years for the jewelry industry. More than ever before, consumer demand surged as the new phenomenon of the “Five and Ten” store provided the ideal venue to sell the less-expensive jewelry. This drove the industry to expand and develop modern ways of producing goods more efficiently with machinery such as the automatic drop press, screw machines, and chain mesh machines.

verb rew asked Jul 13 '12 at 18:25 melinda lewis New member

3 answers


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The verb usage in the third sentence is correct in all three samples. However, I prefer the third paragraph, primarily for the flow of words.

 

All three have several small errors that should be corrected. The serial comma (sometimes called the Oxford comma) is required following "1894". Although journalism has abandoned the serial comma, it is still a requirement of formal, academic writing. You an drop "considered" without any loss of meaning. Your sentence would be more concise and have a better flow.

 

The second "years" in the first sentence is redundant, as is "before" in "than ever before" in your rewrite.

 

Because you are speaking of a specific phenomena rather than phenomena in general, the article"the" (rather than "a") is more appropriate to start the second sentence.

 

In your final edit, the article "the" before "less-expensive jewelry" is not needed. (It would be if the previous sentence had discussed two types of jewelry.)

 

"the new phenomenon of the" is wordy and can be replaced by just "the new".

 

The years 1893, 1894, and 1895 proved  immensely prosperous for the jewelry industry. More than ever, consumer demand surged as the new “Five and Ten” store provided the ideal venue to sell less-expensive jewelry. This drove the industry to expand and develop modern ways of producing goods more efficiently with machinery such as the automatic drop press, screw machines, and chain mesh machines.
 

I hope this helped.

link answered Jul 13 '12 at 21:39 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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grammnnAug 20 '13 at 08:30

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I agree that the third paragraph is the best.  I don't agree with dropping the word phenomenon, however. 

 

The new phenomenon of the "Five and Ten" store - this emphasized that there was a new way of doing business.  Phenomenon is something impressive.  A new business model that is quickly embraced around the country can be described as a phenomenon.

 

The new "Five and Ten" store - this is rather vague and seems to talk about only one store.  Even if store was made plural, it loses the emphasis of how much the new type of store changed things. 

link answered Jul 13 '12 at 21:52 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

You make a good point. However, I'm still not comfortable with "new phonomenon." Perhaps "new appearance of "Five and Ten" stores".

Jeff PribylJul 13 '12 at 23:37

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I want to thank both!  This is especially helpful.  As someone with no formal college education (in English) and being Dyslexic, writing has been quite an experience. Especially as I undertake writing a 1000 page book!  

link comment answered Jul 14 '12 at 02:53 melinda lewis New member

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