1. sdunks
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    sdunks Member

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    Compel

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by sdunks, Nov 19, 2013.

    Hi guys,

    I want to write "It was an exhausting task and one that compelled James to his knees."

    Does compel work here? I personally don't think it does, but I just can't think of a suitable alternative. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Tasks force, I'm not sure tasks compel, but given they are synonyms, I defer to other opinions.
     
  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Lowered, forced, brought come to mind.
    Compel just sounds off to me.
     
  4. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps, but it sounds odd.
     
  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Usually, one is 'driven' to his knees.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, 'driven' makes much better sense... i don't see 'compelled' making any in that context, sorry to say...

    that said, it would work with a small addition:


    but it's still an awkward sentence, with 'and one' stuck in there for no good reason...
     
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  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Building upon what Maia said, you could do something like, "It was an exhausting task - one that compelled James to drop to his knees." Someone please tell me if this is incorrect, but it may clear up the whole 'awkward sentence' thing if 'compelled' is the word the OP wants.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Just checked the online dictionary. If 'compel' is used to mean 'to force or drive something' (as opposed to a necessity or need) it's a transitive verb. That means it needs an object. "James to his knees" isn't really a sensible end to this verb/object relationship. You need the 'to drop to' bit as well. Because you're forcing the drop, not the knees? If that makes sense?

    Well, it made sense when I wrote it...o_O
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds like you're just agreeing with me and tk, in a roundabout way... wss that your intent?...
     
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  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I think so...!o_O I'll go untwist my knickers, now...
     

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