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  1. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    AS I would like to say.......

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SuperVenom, Oct 23, 2012.

    First Id like to thank everyone who has helped me so far within this forum, it nice to see a friendly one where people are willing to help and even guide the misguided without the put downs.

    My question is the use of the word 'As'.
    It might just be me but sometimes i think i over use it when describing a situation etc.

    As he felt the cold barrel of the gun against his back.......(further on) As he walked down further into the darkness.......As he looked up the bat he had earlier been admiring from a distance now slept above his head.

    Is it a word that can be overused or do readers go blind to it like the word said?

    And as (there it is again) an after thought are there any words from you guys in the forum that seem to stick in your head as being used to much when you write? You know you get the "Oh wait am I using that AGAIN?" feeling.

    Cheers Guys
     
  2. Knarfia
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    Knarfia Member

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    I definitely think it can be overused. If you find it popping up to often you may want to try rewording some of your sentences. For instance, rather than saying, "As he walked down further into the darkness" you could simply say, "He walked down further into the darkness and was engulfed in, overcome by," whatever it is you're trying to convey there.
     
  3. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Yes, in the way you described, 'as' is overused.

    As he felt the cold barrel of the gun against his back.......(further on) As he walked down further into the darkness.......As he looked up the bat he had earlier been admiring from a distance now slept above his head.

    OK..here's a better way of putting the same thing without so many 'as' uses. Try to avoid the word 'had' a lot because it's a dead giveaway, at times, that you're telling instead of showing. There are times you can/will use that word, but it's like salt..sprinkle sparingly.

    He felt the cold barrel of a gun against his back...as he walked further into the darkness...and (or just he) he looked up at the bat he saw earlier from a distance now slept above his head.

    Looking at your example, the first sentence works without 'as' for the start. The second is an appropriate use of 'as' and the third could be changed to either 'and' or 'he' instead of 'as.'

    I suggest looking it up on Mirriam Wesbter's online website, and see all the definitions of 'as' so it'll be easier to understand when to or not to use the word.
     
  4. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Thanks guys I appreciate the comments and glad I was right to question my use of the word. I will check out link when I get chance to :)
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not only overused, but exceedingly misused!

    it's one of the most common things i have to keep training mentees and clients not to do... they all too often use it wrongly, tieing actions together that can't possibly be done at the same time... this happens almost every time they start a sentence with the pesky li'l thing...

    my best advice is to NEVER begin a sentence with 'as'... it will practically never make sense...

    the third example above makes none whatsoever, because 'as' is in conflict with 'now' and the ongoing action, 'slept'... plus, the missing comma after 'up' makes it read as if the character is 'looking up' the bat, such as in some reference source, or as a common term for visiting [look her up while you're in town]...

    and the first two probably don't make sense either, but i'd have to see the entire sentences to be sure...
     
  6. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I don't use the word "as" very often, but I do overuse the word "while".
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a word I usually edit out completely, which is perhaps a bit extreme but it comes from my day job which involves a lot of technical writing. In that context, "as" is almost always ambiguous. It could mean "while" or it could mean "above". I have to eliminate that sort of ambiguity at work. There is a place for ambiguity in creative writing (ask the ghost of William Empson) but I prefer it to be intentional.
    Fair enough as a starting position, I suppose. Then if people want to use them they can carefully reintroduce them.
     
  8. leroyhro
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    leroyhro New Member

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    AS I would like to say

    I want the power of teleportation so I can go to every corner of the Earth and see the beauty of the world. I also want to be able to read other peoples minds, fly, become invisible, and possess the power to eliminate disease and hunger.
     
  9. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    it depends how you are using the word "as". Are you using it as a Adverb, Conjunction, Preposition, or as a Noun (very rare usage unless you are talking about ancient Roman money). You seem to be most worried about using it as a conjunction. You could in most of your examples simply drop the conjunction and start the sentences on "He". or you could try using a Synonym for the word "As".
    For example:
    adverb: how - so - like
    conjunction: while - because - when - since - whereas - for
    preposition: like - for - at
    Sometimes how ever it will be the word that makes the most sense to use.
     
  10. stratwriter
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    stratwriter New Member

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    I think most of those sentences can be edited fairly easily, and you should shoot for a different mind set as well. Forget the 'as.'

    < As he felt the cold barrel of the gun against his back.......(further on) As he walked down further into the darkness.......As he looked up the bat he had earlier been admiring from a distance now slept above his head. >

    You can drop the 'as' and begin the sentence with the next word: He felt the cold barrel of the gun against his back... Or, even better, skip the subject pronoun and start with the indirect or direct object noun: The cold barrel of the gun ran a shiver down his back. It's kind of redundant to have 'earlier' and 'now' in the same sentence, so I'd drop one: He looked up and saw that the bat he admired earlier was sleeping above his head. The same goes for had in this case.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what does that have to do with the subject of this thread?
     
  12. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I meant "It could mean 'while' or it could mean 'because'". I have no idea where "above" came from!
     

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