English usage: "what would seem to be."
February 18, 2010 5:32 PM Subscribe
What's the proper use of the phrase "what would seem to be"?
posted by exphysicist345 to education (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Over all, most Taliban small-arms fire has been haphazard and ineffective, an unimpressive display of ill discipline or poor skill. But this more familiar brand of Taliban shooting has been punctuated by the work of what would seem to be several well-trained marksmen. -- Today's New York Times
Why what would seem to be
? How about "the work of what seem to be
well-trained marksmen"? Or "apparently
well-trained marksmen"? Or just omitting the phrase altogether: "the work of well-trained marksmen"?
I don't doubt the NYT is using English correctly, I'm just wondering what the justification is for the construction, and when to use it.