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Hello dear teachers,

What's wrong with the following use of " by means of"?


By means of English, I managed to make plenty of good friends.

Comments  

The given sentence is readily understandable and grammatically acceptable, but the phrase "by means of English" is a little unusual. The phrase "by means of" is typically not used together with the word "English." Moreover, the phrase itself - "by means of" - is infrequently heard in English today; it had its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.

Siavash MoghaddasianWhat's wrong with the following use of " by means of"?

I'm not quite sure, but something is. "English" seems insufficient in and of itself to be the means of anything. There is a conflict between "by means of" and "managed". "Plenty" is used oddly—it sound defensive somehow. I think you mean something more like "Thanks to my growing proficiency in English, I have managed to make a lot of good friends." or "In the course of learning English, I have managed to make a lot of good friends."

By the way, if we all bow to Google Ngram Viewer, we will be talking Newspeak within two generations. If plain English is dying, we should try to revive it instead of sadly throwing dirt on the casket.