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Grammar gurus...

Tammi K

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give me a succinct reason why this is wrong....


"Excel your child's education at X X School." 


Advance, augment, accelerate, excel ...all verbs yet excel feels wrong.  Why is that? 


The meaning of the verb excel, according to the dictionary, changes whether it has an object.  Typically, it is used without a direct object.


"She excels in swimming" -- with a prepositional phrase, NOT a direct object


If it is used with a direct object,


"She excels all swimmers", it means she is better than all the other swimmers.


In this sentence, excel is an imperative verb form, and "your child's education" is the object, which yields the confusing meaning that something is better than your child's education.


If *I* were writing the sentence, I'd make XX School the subject, as presumably it is what we are selling, and really the important part here.  I'd rewrite as 


XX School [Advances, augments, accelerates, etc] your child's education...

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^ Yes. Excel is in an intransitive verb (does not take an object). :)

Yes!!! That's what I wanted. Short and to the point.  


It's the first line in the opening spiel on our charter school's home page. It grates on my nerves but I couldn't put it into words. 



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