1. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada

    Adverb placement

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by peachalulu, Apr 29, 2014.

    I'm doing a critique ( elsewhere ) and I came across something that felt jarring but I don't know whether or not I should point it out cause I could be totally wrong.

    I've only taken part of the sentence giving me trouble and changed the noun.

    Shouldn't it be verb first - glittered invitingly?

    Or is it more a style choice?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    I think that it's a style choice and that the usual order was deliberately reversed for effect. I say "usual order", but I don't think that's the only correct order. The reversal is a little jarring, and I'd have to see it in the context of the whole piece to decide whether that's positive or negative.
     
  3. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,788
    Likes Received:
    7,302
    Location:
    Scotland
    Yeah, it's hard to decide without seeing the whole sentence. Both versions seem clunky to me. I think I'd go for something like: The Gulf of Mexico glittered in the sunlight, inviting (me to do something...)
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  4. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Style choice but "glittered invitingly" sounds better to my ear in the example. I would also change the order of the clause.

    "In the sunlight the Gulf of Mexico glittered invitingly." The 'and...' would depend on what followed whether or not it should be a new sentence.

    Don't forget the G is capped as it is part of the name, Gulf of Mexico.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    That reminds me of the general rule to end the sentence on the thing you want the reader to focus on. So if the invited part or the glittered part was more important, consider that when deciding on the order of the clauses.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    Yep. To me, "invitingly" sort of anthropomorphizes the body of water. In fact, it's just a little bit creepy. :) I could see it in a Douglas Adams book shortly before the spaceship wrecks and vanishes into the water or something. So I guess I'm seeing it as working in a humorous context, but I'm sure that there are other contexts where it could theoretically work.
     
  7. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I don't want to post the whole sentence here - it's someone else's work. But even as a style choice it's not working. There's too much else that's not working around it.
    I'm thinking the writer doesn't seem all that comfortable with verbs ( there's a lot of was' and to be verbs - everything is stated very matter-of-factly ) And then there seems to be a lot of delay before the verbs. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't stating some rule. Thanks everyone!
     
  8. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    It's a perfectly acceptable, though perhaps archaic, stylistic choice. It was used by a lot of 19th/early 20th century writers.
     
  9. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    That could be why the writer chose it - to keep in with the old feel of the story. Maybe I'll ignore it and focus on the bigger issues.
     

Share This Page