Her responsibilities included: acquisition of sponsors?

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Julia Steiner:
Hi,
I am writing a letter of confirmation for people who have taken part in the organization of a student conference, for them to attach to CVs and the like.
The letter opens with a general statement that so-and-so has participated in the organization of the conference, then comes a list of responsibilities, with boxes to tick "where appropriate."

It currently reads:

His/her responsibilities included:
( ) planning the budget
( ) the acquisition of sponsors
( ) the organization of the social programme
( ) the allocation of conference rooms
( ) ...

There are two problems with this: firstly, most of the lines now start with the definite article, which, too me, seems somewhat repetitious. Secondly, there is the odd mixture of grammatical constructions: gerund "planning the budget" vs. noun phrase "the acquisition of sponsors."

My idea was that the introductory phrase "his/her responsibilities included" and the list items should somehow "match", to give a grammatical sentence.
Am I worrying too much? Do you think I could just leave the definite article out, so that the list would read:

His/her responsibilities included:
( ) planning the budget
( ) acquisition of sponsors
( ) organization of the social programme
( ) allocation of conference rooms
( ) ...

Or would that sound strange?
The obvious solution, of course, would be to use "-ing"-forms throughout. However, I thought that it would sound too much like the organizers had done these things for years, as part of a job, when the conference was in fact a single event.
Am I right? Or worrying too much, again?
I'd be very glad to hear your views on this (this thing is to be printed tomorrow, and I am turning quite desperate right now..)

Thanks in advance,
Julia
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Adrian Bailey:
[nq:1]Hi, I am writing a letter of confirmation for people who have taken part in the organization of a student ... "his/her responsibilities included" and the list items should somehow "match", to give a grammatical sentence. Am I worrying too much?[/nq]
Yes.
[nq:1]Do you think I could just leave the definite article out, so that the list would read: His/her responsibilities ... acquisition of sponsors ( ) organization of the social programme ( ) allocation of conference rooms ( ) ... [/nq]
No.
[nq:1]Or would that sound strange?[/nq]
No.
[nq:1]The obvious solution, of course, would be to use "-ing"-forms throughout.[/nq]
No.
[nq:1]However, I thought that it would sound too much like the organizers had done these things for years, as part of a job, when the conference was in fact a single event. Am I right?[/nq]
No.
[nq:1]Or worrying too much, again?[/nq]
Yes.
[nq:1]I'd be very glad to hear your views on this (this thing is to be printed tomorrow, and I am turning quite desperate right now..)[/nq]
Adrian
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CyberCypher:
Julia Steiner wrote on 15 Feb 2005:
[nq:1]Hi, I am writing a letter of confirmation for people who have taken part in the organization of a student ... was that the introductory phrase "his/her responsibilities included" and the list items should somehow "match", to give a grammatical sentence.[/nq]
That's a matter of style. Your gut feeling is correct: they should all match for it to be good style.
[nq:1]Am I worrying too much? Do you think I could just leave the definite article out, so that the list would read:[/nq]
Sure, you're worrying too much. Whatever you say will be accepted and acceptable.
[nq:1] His/her responsibilities included: ( ) planning the budget ( ) acquisition of sponsors ( ) organization of the social programme ( ) allocation of conference rooms ( ) ... Or would that sound strange?[/nq]
No. Much better than with "the".
[nq:1]The obvious solution, of course, would be to use "-ing"-forms throughout. However, I thought that it would sound too much ... things for years, as part of a job, when the conference was in fact a single event. Am I right?[/nq]
No.
[nq:1]Or worrying too much, again?[/nq]
Yes.
[nq:1]I'd be very glad to hear your views on this (this thing is to be printed tomorrow, and I am turning quite desperate right now..)[/nq]
I think all the responsibilities ought to have the same // grammatical form, but I like parallel structures. Adrian seems not to mind stylistic mess. I also perfer verbals to noun phrases with prepositions, especially "of".

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
"The only problem with seeing too much is that
it makes you insane." Phaedrus
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Michael Nitabach:
[nq:1]Julia Steiner wrote on 15 Feb 2005:[/nq]
[nq:2]Hi, I am writing a letter of confirmation for people ... ( ) the allocation of conference rooms ( ) ...[/nq]
[nq:1]I think all the responsibilities ought to have the same // grammatical form, but I like parallel structures. Adrian seems not to mind stylistic mess. I also perfer verbals to noun phrases with prepositions, especially "of".[/nq]
I am with Franke on this. The lack of parallelism in the original really grates on me, and I like the "ing" phrases better, too.

Mike Nitabach
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Skitt:
There's another thing maybe it's just me, but I don't like acquisition of sponsors. I think "recruiting" or "recruitment of" might be better. "Acquisition" suggests more ownership than warranted, at least to me. Perhaps, even just plain "finding" might be better.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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nancy13g:
[nq:1] His/her responsibilities included: ( ) planning the budget ( ) the acquisition of sponsors ( ) the organization of the social programme ( ) the allocation of conference rooms ( ) ... [/nq]
Maybe you're thinking too much about making the phrases parallel, when you should be thinking more about making sure the phrases accurately describe what the person has accomplished.
How about rearranging some of the words in the phrases, as follows:

( ) budget planning
( ) recruitment of sponsors
( ) organization of the social programme
( ) conference room allocation
( ) ... etc.
(The one I still don't care for is the "social programme" one, perhaps because I don't understand quite what duties it implies. How does someone organize a programme, exactly? Did the person doing that task need to prepare a schedule of events? Line up talent? Hire an orchestra? Make sure everyone who attended had a partner to sit with?)

But, as others in this thread have said, there really is nothing wrong with your initial list, and it would serve its purpose quite adequately with no changes at all.
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CyberCypher:
Skitt wrote on 16 Feb 2005:
[nq:1]There's another thing maybe it's just me, but I don't like acquisition of sponsors. I think "recruiting" or "recruitment of" might be better. "Acquisition" suggests more ownership than warranted, at least to me. Perhaps, even just plain "finding" might be better.[/nq]
Good point.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
"The only problem with seeing too much is that
it makes you insane." Phaedrus
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Richard Maurer:
There's another thing maybe it's just me, but
I don't like acquisition of sponsors. I think "recruiting" or "recruitment of" might be better. "Acquisition" suggests more ownership than warranted, at least to me.
Perhaps, even just plain "finding" might be better.
You and me and Julio down at the schoolyard. And most people till a decade or two ago. But nowadays there are 358,000 GoogleWeb hits for "customer acquisition".
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also.
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Mike Lyle:
[nq:1]There's another thing maybe it's just me, but I don't like acquisition of sponsors. I think "recruiting" or "recruitment ... schoolyard. And most people till a decade or two ago. But nowadays there are 358,000 GoogleWeb hits for "customer acquisition".[/nq]
Yes, and I think it's a little unfortunate: "acquisition" has a clear meaning in business, and it's a pity to dilute it. Another case of polysyllabic self-importance, I think; this one perhaps influenced by a parallel self-inflating military usage "target acquisition". Business writers are always looking out for nice new butch words, just as military writers are always looking for nice new long-haired ones.
Mike.
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