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Some people believe that the phrase "comprised of" is incorrect. The main argument here is that the only meaning of "comprise" is "include". In other words, "comprise" denotes a composition, but does not necessarily refer to all composite elements. In contrast, the phrases like "to be composed of" or "to be made up of" are followed by a complete list of all composite elements. Because "comprise" should be used only as a synonym for "include" and "contain", "to be comprised of " does not make any sense as do not make sense phrases "to be included of" and "to be contained of".

In truth, "comprise" has a second meaning "make up", i.e., "compose", and both major dictionaries, e.g., Oxford and Merriam-Webster acknowledge this fact (I also checked a printed edition of Merriam-Webster). Never mind, that "comprised of" was in use as early as in the 18th century. Some folks still cannot accept this.

The wrongness of "comprised of" was debunked multiple times, see e.g. entries [1] and [2] in the Language Log. What is a new spin here? Turns out that there is a guy Bryan Henderson who devoted his life to exterminating all the occurrences of "comprised of" in Wikipedia. Specializing in exactly this "grammatical error", he has made about 50 thousand Wikipedia edits! To support his point of view, he compiled a list of arguments. However, as I show below, none of these arguments is convincing while some of them are plainly fallacious.

1. Even dictionaries acknowledge this usage, though they all tell you it's disputed and typically discourage writers from using it. See for example Wiktionary.

This claim must be backed up by better evidence. While some of the dictionaries might tell you otherwise, two some of the most authoritative sources (Merriam-Webster and Oxford) do support the use of "comprised of" as a synonym for "composed of", i.e., they certainly do not discourage anyone. Wiktionary, in turn, seems to support its claim by citing century old editions of dictionaries. Excuse me, English evolved quite a bit since then.

2. It's completely unnecessary. There are many other ways to say what the writer means by "comprised of". It adds nothing to the language.

English is ambiguous and redundant: We have synonyms, paraphrases, etc. Let us get rid of them, they add nothing to the language! In fact, it is often considered a bad style to repeat the same expression in the same sentence or paragraph (unless it is a precise technical term). From this perspective, we should all welcome "comprised of" as yet another way to avoid dull repetition.

3. It's illogical for a word to mean two opposite things.

It is not clear what "opposite things" mean here: A better explanation is clearly needed. If Bryan hints that "include" and "to be comprised of" are antonyms, I cannot agree (and, probably, few people would). To me, these are synonyms or near synonyms. Furthermore, I could not find a source claiming that "include" is an antonym for "to be comprised of" (see, e.g., this page).

4. The etymology of the word does not support "comprised of". It comes from Latin words meaning to hold or grasp together. Other English words based on those same roots are "comprehensive" and "prehensile" (as in a monkey's prehensile tail: it can grab things). Comprise's French cousin also makes this clear.

It is not uncommon for a (borrowed) word to change the meaning over time. There are gazillions of other examples like this one. Why should we attack this particular deviation from the original etymology? Besides, English is not a Latin language and I see no good reason to stick to the true Latin meanings of borrowed words.

5. It's new. Many current Wikipedia readers learned to write at a time when no respectable dictionary endorsed "comprised of" in any way. It was barely ever used before 1970. Even now, style manuals frequently call out this particular usage as something not to do.

As noted here, the controversial use was very common in legal practice even before 1970. The Google Books search gives plenty of earlier examples (many not related to the legal domain) as well.

The mainstream editions may have neglected this specific use of "comprise" (as a synonym for "make up") until recently. However, nowadays, at least two respectable dictionaries fully endorse this without any reservations! I would reiterate that now this phrase is considered to be a part of the Standard English by respectable linguists and editors. One should be careful not to use "comprise of" (in the active voice), though, because this usage does not seem to be correct.

Ok, but what about journals and newspapers? They do not oppose it, either. Check, e.g., the New Yorker and the Washington Post.

6. It's imprecise. English has a variety of ways to say things the writer means by "comprised of". "Composed of", "consists of", and "comprises" are subtly different. In sentences I edit, it often takes careful thought to decide just which one of these things the article should say. Thus the sentence with "comprised of" isn't quite as expressive.

I agree that it is imprecise. Furthermore, the exact meaning of this phrase was even disputed legally! All natural languages including English are ambiguous. However, in most cases, people cope with ambiguity quite successfully. Thus, unless there is statistical evidence of significant confusion caused by this specific imprecision, it is best not mess with it!

7. Many writers use this phrase to aggrandize a sentence -- to intentionally make it longer and more sophisticated. In these, a simple "of", "is", or "have" often produces an easier-to-read sentence. (Example: "a team comprised of scientists" versus "a team of scientists").

There is nothing wrong with aggrandizing per se. It is a matter of style, I guess. The claim that exterminating "comprised of" makes things more readable seems to be a personal opinion, which is not backed up by hard numbers.

Bryan may believe that his hobby is harmless. Even if "comprised of" is correct, it is always possible to replace the phrase with an equivalent "composed of", right? Well, I don't think so. Brian is a software engineer and, as software engineers know full well, hasty edits eventually do break something. There is no way to avoid a mistake, no matter how careful you are! Therefore, one of the most important engineering principles is: Do not to fix things that are not broken! Arguably, the use of "comprised of" does not affect readability much (at least, it was not proven otherwise). However, there are tons of other Wikipedia articles that are indeed poorly written. Editing these pages will be a more valuable public service.