Hi,

I don't think I am beating the dead horse here because to me, the purpose is still alive in that I still don't fully comfortable with the workings of it. (Would you say the underlined personification of a noun like purpose is good here? In what instances would you resort to the tactic of personification in the world of writing?) Please help.

In the article titled "For New U.N. Chief, a Past Misstep Leads to Opportunity" by the New York Times, it had this sentence.

The eldest of six children, he was a standout student, applying himself with particular zeal to learning English.

Sound a very good sentence with any flaws. I am going to change some parts to make the word "zeal" countable. Did I do it correctly?

The eldest of six children, he was a standout student, immerse himself in a particular zeal in learning English.

Sorry if I asked too broad questions in one post.
Contributing Member1,969
It would be best to ask separate questions in separate posts.

1) Hi, I'm a little confused about what you are asking in your first bit - the purpose being alive stuff? Are you asking whether that first sentence is correct?

Ok, firstly the idiom is 'flog' a dead horse not 'beat'. Then the second clause is a bit difficult to understand. Are you asking whether it is ok to personify 'purpose' by saying it is alive? I suppose so in theory..but I can't really work out what it means. Do you mean that the purpose still exists? I still have a purpose in doing some unspecified thing? If find it hard to think of a purpose as 'alive'. A goal, an aim, yes those could still be alive to me, but an alive purpose I am having difficulty with.

You have a problem with the end of the sentence too 'I still don't feel fully comfortable with the workings of it' or 'I am still not fully comfortable with the workings of it'. But now I'm confused - the workings of what? The purpose? How does a purpose have workings?

So, take those comments into account and have another go at that sentence as it doesn't make much sense at the moment.

2) You can't immerse yourself in zeal. If you want to use zeal in this way then think about 'a zeal for'.
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Believer:

Start stating the problem first, then your reservations about doing it.

>The eldest of six children, he was a standout student, immerse himself in a particular zeal in learning English.

Immersing/immersed in zeal is non-idiomatic, IMO. And immerse in zeal doesn't fit grammatically. Perhaps immersed, but see previous obs.
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BelieverHi,

I don't think I am beating the dead horse here because to me, the purpose is still alive in that I still don't fully comfortable with the workings of it. (Would you say the underlined personification of a noun like purpose is good here? In what instances would you resort to the tactic of personification in the world of writing?) Please help.

In the article titled "For New U.N. Chief, a Past Misstep Leads to Opportunity" by the New York Times, it had this sentence.

The eldest of six children, he was a standout student, applying himself with particular zeal to learning English.

Sound a very good sentence with any flaws. I am going to change some parts to make the word "zeal" countable. Did I do it correctly?

The eldest of six children, he was a standout student, immerse himself in a particular zeal in learning English.

Sorry if I asked too broad questions in one post.

Believer,

I find it very difficult to understand your posts; precisely, the meaning of the questions you asked. I think you tried too hard to apply phrases and structure that you are not comfortable with in complex questions which made them very, for the lack of better word, "abstruct". For the same reason, the sounding is quite odd. So my advise to you is to stick with simpler terms and phrases so that we can understand your points.
Senior Member3,816
Nona The BritOk, firstly the idiom is 'flog' a dead horse not 'beat'.

I think that is true only for BrE. As far as I know, Americans do use 'beat' in this idiom.
Full Member369
Americans do use 'beat' in this idiom
Yup. Either one in the U.S.

CJ
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<..."abstruct"...>

Emotion: tongue tied

MrP
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Ooops !

I need to improve my typing … I meant [Abstract] Emotion: embarrassed
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