The following sentence
appeared in an editorial in the Traverse City Record-Eagle on Sunday, November 23,
Harbor, comprised of 23 area churches that open their doors to the homeless
during the winter months, has said the group can’t continue indefinitely.”
My quibble is with the
wording comprised of. Comprise means
to include or contain; compose means
made up of or formed by. Safe Harbor, included of 23 area churches . . . makes no sense.
The whole comprises the
parts; the whole includes the parts:
comprises 23 area churches.
comprises 50 states.
government comprises three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.
A full deck
comprises 52 cards.
alphabet comprises 26 letters.
Alternatively, the whole is composed of its many parts; the whole is made up of
or formed by its many parts:
is composed of 23 area churches.
composed of 50 states.
government is composed of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.
A full deck
is composed of 52 cards.
alphabet is composed of 26 letters.
Finally, the parts
compose the whole; the parts make up or form the whole:
churches compose Safe Harbor.
branches—executive, legislative, and judicial—compose the federal government.
compose a full deck.
compose the English alphabet.
Here is a simple rule
that will cut through confusion:
Never, ever, write or say comprised of.
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