Subject-verb agreement with parentheses

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beekay:
Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state is reduced" or
"... are reduced." I can't find a specific rule for this, although one probably is clearly written somewhere. It's like 1.5 subjects for the verb. It seems clearer that something like "John (and Sandra) is going to the store" would be better as "... are ...", but I'm still not sure.

The sorrow (and the pity) was/were not appropriate?

Help! (and thanks).
Beekay.
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Rolleston:
[nq:1]Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state is reduced" or "... are reduced." I ... "John (and Sandra) is going to the store" would be better as "... are ...", but I'm still not sure.[/nq]
Is the example something you have written?
R.
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CyberCypher:
"beekay" wrote on 17 Feb 2004:
[nq:1]Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state is reduced"[/nq]
If "the temperature" is important enough to include in the sentence, it does not belong in parentheses. Say: "the specific enthalpy as well as the temperature of the state is reduced".
[nq:1]or "... are reduced." I can't find a specific rule for this, although one probably is clearly written somewhere. It's ... would be better as "... are ...", but I'm still not sure. The sorrow (and the pity) was/were not appropriate?[/nq]
"Neihter the sorrow nor the pity was appropriate" or "The sorrow, nor the pity, was appropriate.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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Sebastian Hew:
[nq:1]Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state is reduced" or "... are reduced." I ... would be better as "... are ...", but I'm still not sure. The sorrow (and the pity) was/were not appropriate?[/nq]
I think the singular verb is appropriate in each case, for omission of parenthetical additions ought not to affect the grammatical correctness of a sentence.
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Gerald Smyth:
[nq:2]Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) ... not sure. The sorrow (and the pity) was/were not appropriate?[/nq]
[nq:1]I think the singular verb is appropriate in each case, for omission of parenthetical additions ought not to affect the grammatical correctness of a sentence.[/nq]
On the other hand, isn't it also true that omission of the parentheses in such cases ought not to affect the grammatical correctness? In other words, shouldn't the sentence be grammatical both with and without the parenthetical addition?
I submit that such parenthetical additions are logically impossible unless the verb's number is plural with and without the parenthetical addition: 'The Smiths (and the Joneses) are going to the store', or 'The Smiths (and Sandra) are going to the store'.
Gerald Smyth
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Michael West:
[nq:1]Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state is reduced" or "... are reduced." I ... as "... are ...", but I'm still not sure. The sorrow (and the pity) was/were not appropriate? Help! (and thanks).[/nq]
I think the question is misdirected. When and why would this sort of construction be useful or desirable? Its awkwardness is a good reason to avoid it.
English provides many excellent choices:
Neither the sorrow nor the pity were appropriate.
The sorrow and the pity were inappropriate.
John and Sandra are going to the store.
John is going to the store with Sandra.
The specific enthalpy and temperature of the
state are reduced.
The specific enthalpy is reduced, along with the temperature.

Michael West
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beekay:
I am editing a technical book. I prefer to limit my changes to simple grammatical ones, rather than guess why the author put the second subject in parentheses. I believe he is focusing on enthalpy, but secondarily wants to remind the reader that it also applies to temperature. I thought there might be a specific rule that governs this situation, although I can't find it in the Chicago Manual of Style (that doesn't mean it's not there, of course).
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Rolleston:
[nq:1]Is it correct to say "the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state is reduced" or "... are reduced." I ... "John (and Sandra) is going to the store" would be better as "... are ...", but I'm still not sure.[/nq]
There are some get-arounds not yet mentioned. One could throw in an auxiliary verb that has the same form in the singular and plural. E.g.,
the specific enthalpy (and temperature) of the state will be reduced

"will be" may not suit the context. There may be other verb combinations with similar properties that will fit. You might opt for "will have been", "would be", "should be", etc. etc.

Other get-arounds would include possible pluralization of "specific enthalpy" with appropriate adjustments elsewhere, and complete rewriting, e.g.,
resulting in a reduction of the specific enthalpy
(and temperature) of the state
or whatever is best for you.
Sorry for the late reply,
R.
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