1. EmotionalPassion
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    EmotionalPassion New Member

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    Descriptive emphasis.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by EmotionalPassion, Nov 26, 2014.

    Hello, this is my first thread and I'm also not so good at writing but I was wondering whether this actually works and makes sense.

    I've started to write, God knows what, but I need to improve and I have this sentence:

    "Ticking so smooth and soothing, even to a deaf mans ears, it makes it easier to sleep at night."

    Does the "even to a deaf mans ears" make sense because obviously a deaf man cannot hear but it's just to put emphasis on how smoothing the sound of the ticking of the clock actually is.

    Thank you,
    Marcus.
     
  2. mad_hatter
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    mad_hatter Active Member

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    I'm sure others may be able to give better advice than me, but, to my mind, this depends on the context. If it's more literal and is referring to a deaf character, or the narrator himself is deaf, then it doesn't make much sense. If not, and it's more figurative, as the narrator is intentionally being ironic, then it could work. If that's the case though, perhaps there's a better option?
     
  3. EmotionalPassion
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    EmotionalPassion New Member

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    It is meant to be more metaphorical than literal, the narrator is not deaf and yes, the narrator is deliberately being "ironic".

    Thank you, I just wasn't too sure; your advice was perfect.
     
  4. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think you might be better off finding a way to say how the clock was soothing to a particular point of view character. Having been rather irritated at a ticking clock in the same room I was trying to sleep, I have to say the soothingness of ticks is subjective. I can't imagine there is much variation in ticks between clocks, seeing as it's normally based on the second hand.
    I'm struggling to believe in your vision of a tick that is that soothing to everyone.
     
  5. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe it would work with restructuring, but not as the parenthetical it is now.

    Ticking so smooth and soothing even a deaf man would sleep better.

    I;m sure there are better ways of saying it than the above.
     
  6. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I'm with most others. It might work better if restructured. Even if it's intended metaphorically, some readers might not take it that way. You might want to replace "a deaf man's ears" with "ears of someone hard of hearing" or something equivalent but better flowing.

    Then again, like mad_matter said, it depends on context, so you might get away with it.

    Edit: You could go a different route altogether. Instead of "Ticking so smooth and soothing, even to a deaf mans ears, it makes it easier to sleep at night," try "Ticking so smooth and soothing, even to the most restless soul, it makes it easier to sleep at night."
     
  7. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Ticking", in my mind is never smooth or soothing. Any clock or ticking device I have known has, at best, been tolerable. This is where language is so cool. I felt something was wrong with your attempt and I realize now it is the use of the word ticking. Bombs tick; nothing soothing about that. Ticker tape; nothing smooth about them. A tick list; overwork and stress. He had a perceptible tic. I was bit by a tick and now have lymes disease. My mind reverberates with the unpleasant.
     
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  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with Fitz above about the ticking - "ticking" is never smooth, and because of this it feels very jarring - the effect of feeling jarred doesn't help me believe that this sound is smooth and soothing at all.

    My advice would be to use a different word than "ticking". It's not that someone cannot find the sound of a clock soothing - this is a matter of choosing the right word to create the right effect, and "tick" isn't the right word.

    Consider using simpler words, such as simply "The sound of the clock" - or even "the sound of the ticking clock" is better. When you write only "Ticking so soothing" - the emphasis in on the word "tick" and the T sound is very, very loud. That's not soothing. But "The sound" - both TH and S are soft, which emphasises the soothing nature of the sound.

    Alternatively, drumming, strumming, turning, humming, rhythm - those are all possible words you could use.

    The turning of the clock so soothing...

    As for "deaf man's ears" - it did make me frown but at the same time, I like it. I think here's where you can call it poetic license and use the phrase without worry. However, the phrase might have much more impact if you can set it in some context that lets the reader know exactly what you mean by "deaf man's ears" - it sounds too quirky a phrase to say just because it's a cool phrase. I think by itself, it confuses just a little bit. But if you set it in some context - build up that analogy of deafness or the deaf man previously - and then drop in this phrase, it could really deliver a proper WHAM and be totally awesome. In any case, it is a very interesting phrase that I definitely like the sound of.
     

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