Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the EnglishProofreading Service - Pain in the English

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September 14, 2009

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No I do get your point. The problem is that your point is wrong. As I said twice, individual things cannot be meaningfully ordered. Your example was a good one, saying next in line refers to the LINE, a line is a set, that is a group of many individual things, in which the NEXT (thing/item/person) in that like makes sense.


Yes, I have stood in line. Standing in line is not impossible. Single people can be in line, I never said they couldn't however an individual thing can not be ordered meaningfully. Do this. Take an a coin from you pocket and put it on the table, now arrange that coin in order. Can't do it? That is because an individual thing can not (meaningfully) have an order. Strictly speaking you can. It is simultaneously first, and last as I said before. Now take out two coins and place the one with the most recent date stamp closest to you and the one with the earlier date further from you. Now there is an order. Only sets of things have order. So when someone said the order IT was received it makes not sense because you don't know its order in relation to what? To the birth of Christ? To the start of WWII, to the relation to the callers birth date? Of course not, it wants us to assume the order in relation to the time the other calls were answered but that is not stated and that is the problem with the statement. BTW it is "non sequitur." not "non-sequitor."

I think there is a logical problem with the phrase. *A* call does not have an order (well even if it does it is always 1st, last and only), only a series of calls can have order. So a call can't be answered in the order *IT* was received, only in the order ALL the calls were received. My rework, "Calls are answered in the order received."