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Economist.com and IMF sentences

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CEO
Joined: 15 Aug 2003
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Economist.com and IMF sentences [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2003, 17:42
this is a sentence on housing from economist.com

To argue that low nominal interest rates make buying a home cheaper is like arguing that a car loan paid off over four years is cheaper than one repaid over two years.

do you think the use of "like" is ok here... i think "similar to" will be

better here..

this is a sentence from an IMF report...

Short-term real interest rates declined more quickly and by larger amounts than usual in the United States and, to a lesser extent,

do you think that the comparison is ok here..

do we need than " is" usual instead of than usual.

thanks
praetorian
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Re: Economist.com and IMF sentences [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2003, 20:23
praetorian123 wrote:
this is a sentence on housing from economist.com

To argue that low nominal interest rates make buying a home cheaper is like arguing that a car loan paid off over four years is cheaper than one repaid over two years.

do you think the use of "like" is ok here... i think "similar to" will be

better here..

this is a sentence from an IMF report...

Short-term real interest rates declined more quickly and by larger amounts than usual in the United States and, to a lesser extent,

do you think that the comparison is ok here..

do we need than " is" usual instead of than usual.

thanks
praetorian

1) I don't think "like" and "similar to" are interchangable. More analogous comparisons such as this one, IMO "like" should be used when the analogy in strong, and "similar to" when it is not so strong. IMO, something can be "similar to" but "unlike" something else.

As a aside, IMO the statement quoted is stupid whether one uses "llike" or "similar to". A loan with a lower nominal rate is certainly "cheaper" than a loan with a higher rate all else being equal. However, extending the payments period, all else being equal, while certainly reducing the payments, may or may not reduce the cost of the loan (depends on lots of stuff like inflation, etc.). These are NOT comparible and hence, IMO, the sentence is dumb.

2) IMO, the two are "mostly" interchangeable, although i would tend to use "more than usual" when comparing "action" and "more than is usual" when comparising a quantity or extent. Having said that, "is usual" seems to be better is followed by a prepositional phrase.

It rained more than usual last week.
It rained more than is usual for this time of year.
The rain created more havoc than is usual for this time of year.
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MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

CEO
Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Posts: 3454
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Kudos [?]: 874 [0], given: 781

Re: Economist.com and IMF sentences [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2003, 20:53
AkamaiBrah wrote:
praetorian123 wrote:
this is a sentence on housing from economist.com

To argue that low nominal interest rates make buying a home cheaper is like arguing that a car loan paid off over four years is cheaper than one repaid over two years.

do you think the use of "like" is ok here... i think "similar to" will be

better here..

this is a sentence from an IMF report...

Short-term real interest rates declined more quickly and by larger amounts than usual in the United States and, to a lesser extent,

do you think that the comparison is ok here..

do we need than " is" usual instead of than usual.

thanks
praetorian

1) I don't think "like" and "similar to" are interchangable. More analogous comparisons such as this one, IMO "like" should be used when the analogy in strong, and "similar to" when it is not so strong. IMO, something can be "similar to" but "unlike" something else.

As a aside, IMO the statement quoted is stupid whether one uses "llike" or "similar to". A loan with a lower nominal rate is certainly "cheaper" than a loan with a higher rate all else being equal. However, extending the payments period, all else being equal, while certainly reducing the payments, may or may not reduce the cost of the loan (depends on lots of stuff like inflation, etc.). These are NOT comparible and hence, IMO, the sentence is dumb.

2) IMO, the two are "mostly" interchangeable, although i would tend to use "more than usual" when comparing "action" and "more than is usual" when comparising a quantity or extent. Having said that, "is usual" seems to be better is followed by a prepositional phrase.

It rained more than usual last week.
It rained more than is usual for this time of year.
The rain created more havoc than is usual for this time of year.

Thanks, brilliant, cogent and to the point as always.

The sentence from economist is from an article related to housing and the myths related to buying them.. and one of the myths was the above sentence..Probably, the article needs to be read in context.

thanks
praetorian
Re: Economist.com and IMF sentences   [#permalink] 30 Nov 2003, 20:53
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Economist.com and IMF sentences

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