Ethnic cleansing

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 30, 2005

In Reply to: Ethnic cleansing posted by Lewis on April 29, 2005

: : The phrase "Ethnic cleansing" was not "originated by Western journalists". It is a translation right?

: "The phrase "ethnic cleansing" was not invented by jounalists in the West" or perhaps "...did not originate in the West" - 'originated by' is not very good, as the verb 'originate' pretty much requires a 'from' place, whereas journalists are a collective 'whom', not 'where'.

: I accept being corrected, as English is often sloppy and your original would probably be acceptable to some people.

: L

The number of occasions when Lewis needs correcting must be small indeed. In this case he is certainly right. In the indicative mood, originate can either be transitive or intransitive (or I think so). But intransitive is much better. Better to say "the phrase originated (or did not originate) in the Western press." Even better, perhaps, "the phrase had its origin in ...." It's a word better avoided, actually, and if you must use it, please try to avoid the passive mood. The above sentiment is entirely an example of personal bias, of course, not of received opinion. SS