The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
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Grammarian Wanted

Submitted by Jim Aune on March 28, 2007 - 1:06am

As I was writing a course description for my fall graduate class today I found myself suspended between two choices. The class is on the First Amendment, covering both free speech and media law. I have come to believe that we need a new term for the rights described in the First Amendment. The idea of a "right to communicate" seems like the way to go. So I title my class Communicative Rights and the First Amendment. Now, in NCA (not generally known for sparkling prose, dominated as it is by social scientists) the preferred usage would be "Communication Rights" (as in the dysphonious journal title "Communication Education"). As I stare at the two choices, it seems like "Communication Rights" looks/sounds somewhat better. There is also the issue of modifying a noun with another noun, though. Is one usage "correct" and the other not?