Their being received

Posted by Steve E on April 28, 2005

In Reply to: Their being received posted by Smokey Stover on April 27, 2005

: : : : : I wonder whether you could help with an argument that has arisen following the posting of an internal e-mail here at work.

: : : : : One of our employees has caused a commotion by insisting the following statement contains a grammatical and compositional error in relation to the 'their being received' section of the statement.

: : : : : Could you, my learned friends, analyse the statement and let me know if it's correct or incorrect?

: : : : : It would also be helpful to explain why it is right or wrong!

: : : : : The statement is as follows:-

: : : : : "In Neil's case in particular, could you ensure his faxes are taken and handed to him - or left on his desk - within 20 minutes of their being received?"

: : : : : Many thanks!

: : : : Looks OK to me.
: : : Good sentence, actually, clear, grammatical, concise. Why the todo? SS

: : Seems OK, but I would have said "within 20 minutes of their receipt"

: I have no way of knowing, but it is possible that the complainer thinks the phrase should have been "of their having been received." I would agree with Steve, except that "receipt" might conceivably be misunderstood by someone looking for a piece of paper labeled "Receipt." SS

SS--True, but the fax itself is actually the "Receipt" because in the US FCC Rules require that all faxes sent and received must be timestamped with the date and time and have the sending/receiving phone numbers at least on the first page of the transmission. To set your fax machine not to do this (which, oddly, you can do!), is actually, against the law.