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Eight-year-old Jimmy comes to school and on his face is the clear mark of a hand.

"Where did you get that mark, Jimmy?" asks his teacher.
"My mom hit me," answers Jimmy.

Sixty years ago, the teacher might well have replied, "I'll bet you deserved it." Today, by law, in every state of America, the teacher must report such an incident to local child-abuse authorities. At the heart of the revolution in child raising is the fact that the more severe forms of punishment, such as hard slaps across the face, are now considered unacceptable.

About the part in red, why the comparative? Why not simply 'severe forms of punishment'? Isn't the clear mark of a hand an evidence of a harad slap across the face anyway?
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The morecould be omitted. Funnily enough, at least to me, its inclusion seems to make the "severe forms of punishment" less severe.Emotion: smile

CB
Taka Eight-year-old Jimmy comes to school and on his face is the clear mark of a hand.

"Where did you get that mark, Jimmy?" asks his teacher.
"My mom hit me," answers Jimmy.

Sixty years ago, the teacher might well have replied, "I'll bet you deserved it." Today, by law, in every state of America, the teacher must report such an incident to local child-abuse authorities. At the heart of the revolution in child raising is the fact that the more severe forms of punishment, such as hard slaps across the face, are now considered unacceptable.

About the part in red, why the comparative? Why not simply 'severe forms of punishment'? Isn't the clear mark of a hand an evidence of a harad slap across the face anyway?
I don’t know much about American culture regarding child punishment. However, just from the context of the writing, there must be other forms of severe punishment, but less severe than hard slaps across the face. But then again, if it is severe (more or less), why give it?

Hoa Thai
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No, the presence of "the more" can't be avoided.

It shows that there's an hierarchy/order in terms of forms of punishment, in author's opinion, and that he wants the reader to believe that. Whether he succeeds in that is another matter, but at least he tried.

forms of punishment
severe
forms of punishment
more severe forms of punishment
Marius HancuNo, the presence of "the more" can't be avoided.

It shows that there's an hierarchy/order in terms of forms of punishment, in author's opinion, and that he wants the reader to believe that. Whether he succeeds in that is another matter, but at least he tried.

forms of punishment
severe
forms of punishment
more severe forms of punishment

But in that text, the author is just talking about the slaps only, isn't he/she?
Taka
Marius HancuNo, the presence of "the more" can't be avoided.

It shows that there's an hierarchy/order in terms of forms of punishment, in author's opinion, and that he wants the reader to believe that. Whether he succeeds in that is another matter, but at least he tried.

forms of punishment
severe
forms of punishment
more severe forms of punishment

But in that text, the author is just talking about the slaps only, isn't he/she?
No.

He is implicitly thinking about punishment in that hierarchy, and wants to make that clear by the more, and the slaps are provided as an example (such as) for just the highest step in the hierarchy.

That hierarchy is his general framework of mind Emotion: thinking about it, the slaps are just an instance.
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Jimmy got the clear mark of a hand.

The mark shows that somebody slapped across his face.

Sixty years ago, it didn't have to be reported to authorities.

Now, it has to be, because severe forms of punishment, such as hard slaps across the face, are now considered unacceptable.

I think even without 'the more', the logic would be coherent. Rather, in my opinion, it would be clearer.

MH, could you tell me the reason why 'the more' is still needed in that text? It doesn't really seem that the hard slaps are compared with anything here. Where is the hierarchy implied that you are talking about?
TakaJimmy got the clear mark of a hand.

The mark shows that somebody slapped across his face.

Sixty years ago, it didn't have to be reported to authorities.

Now, it has to be, because severe forms of punishment, such as hard slaps across the face, are now considered unacceptable.

I think even without 'the more', the logic would be coherent. Rather, in my opinion, it would be clearer.
Your example is perfectly OK. However, the original author has a more graded/gradual/hierarchical idea about punishment, which you don't share. End of discussion. You either agree with him or not.
So you think the author thinks some severe forms of punishment are acceptable. Hmm...

Well, you've ended your discussion. That's fine.

But this thread is still open to any comments.

I'll wait and see what other people have to say.
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