1. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Do you find this sentence difficult to understand?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by waitingforzion, Mar 13, 2016.

    I wrote you in time past declaring this, that your time to befriend me was nigh to ending, and your contrary choice to being sealed, being devoid of better wisdom, to know these thoughts are arrogant.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've got deja vu on this - did this use to be part of a longer piece, one we said was confusing before?

    And, yes, this is confusing. The language is archaic, but even taking that out of account... "your contrary choice to being sealed" makes no sense, and it's really not clear who's the subject or object of the last several phrases.
     
  3. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Is this more clear?

    I wrote you in time past declaring this, that your time to befriend me is nigh to ending, and your choice to refuse to being sealed, writing devoid of better wisdom, to know these thoughts are arrogant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  4. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Yes, very. I'm afraid I have to agree with @BayView. Even battling through the faux archaic vocabulary and syntax, the sentence loses all sense at about the halfway mark.

    I wrote you in time past declaring this,
    [I wrote to you before saying]
    that your time to befriend me was nigh to ending, [that you had almost missed your chance to be my friend,]
    and your contrary choice to being sealed, [The meaning starts to go a bit screwy right here. Contrary choice, OK a decision was made that the writer didn't like, but the to being sealed bit makes no sense at all. Being sealed where? In a box, for example?]
    being devoid of better wisdom, [Whatever the decision was, was not well thought out]
    to know these thoughts are arrogant. [As @BayView said above, this part is just hanging out there on its own with no connection to anything that went before, and I'm lost.]

    ETA: You posted again just before I did. Your new version suffers from the same problems in the second half.

    ETA2: @waitingforzion How about:

    I wrote to you in time past declaring this: that your time to befriend me was nigh to ending, but your contrary choice has sealed your fate, and you are devoid of the wisdom to know that your thoughts are arrogant.

    I'm stretching here to pick out your meaning, and I may have got it wrong, but I hope I've given you something to work with.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The sentence is extremely unclear. I can translate a little less than half of it.

    It's ok to be simple and clear. It really is.
     
  6. Jeni
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    Jeni Member

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    Let me give it a go:

    I told you before that I wouldn't wait forever for you to become my friend and you are being ornery so I am closing my friendly invitation because you are stupid and I am an arrogant ass

    Am I close?
    I feel it may work better:
    I wrote you in time past declaring that your time to befriend me is nigh to ending, thusly your contrary choice is being sealed because of your lack of better wisdom and these very arrogant thoughts
     
  7. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I am also confused by the sentence. I've tried several times, but I just can't see what you are trying to communicate.

    ETA:

    The second one is equally, if not more confusing.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My guess:

    "I wrote you to let you know that your chance to be my friend was running out. You haven't responded. If you let this opportunity go by, you are an arrogant fool."
     
  9. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Okay, forget that piece of junk.

    Is this clear to you?

    Sandra, the beautiful, the charming and noble of girls, the giver of warmth to the heart desiring her. Who shall offend or anger Sandra the girl, and suffer not the vengeance of fawning men? Sandra is fairer than the girls of beauty and pride.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Zion, have you ever, even for a moment, considered the possibility of trying simple, clear writing?
     
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  11. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Now what's wrong with it?
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's all, again, extremely archaic and complex phrasing. In this case it's more archaic than complex, but archaic is nevertheless difficult to read.
     
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  13. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I don't know what you mean by archaic in this case. I haven't use any archaic phrasing.
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Imagine that you're at McDonald's. You inadvertently offend the counter person. Would your dining companion say to you,

    "I hope that you shall not suffer the vengeance of the giver of french fries." ?

    I'm thinking not?
     
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  15. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    What's your point?
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Uh...weren't you the one who asked for opinions? Maybe I imagined that. I'm out.
     
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  17. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Minimalism sucks.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want advice, courtesy is essential.
     
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  19. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I did ask for opinions, but there is nothing unclear about the combination of suffer and vengeance. It's not even an original combination.

    I wanted to know if my writing was understandable, that is, if it makes sense in syntax and meaning. I could care less if it is archaic or not.
     
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  20. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I'm sorry.
     
  21. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    No, I'm afraid it isn't. I think the problem is that you're trying to give your writing weight and an epic feel by trying to approximate early modern English (the English of Shakespeare) or even the English of the King James Bible, which has peculiarities all of its own, but all you are actually doing is making your text dense to the point of illegibility.

    For example, in the passage above you say "Who shall offend or anger Sandra the girl, and suffer not the vengeance of fawning men?", but suffer not in early modern English would be an imperative not a negative, so you have a problem here with your grammar getting in the way of your meaning.

    You don't have to learn early modern English to write in a style that echoes it (if that is your intention), but you do need to make sure that your modern faux archaic structures are self-consistent and grammatical. Like this:

    Sandra, the beautiful, the most charming and noble of girls, the giver of warmth to the heart desiring her. Who shall offend or anger Sandra the girl(no comma) and not suffer the vengeance of fawning men? Sandra is fairer than the girls of beauty and pride.

    At least now it's grammatical, even if most readers would still consider it obscure and verbose. But of course, obscure and verbose is a matter of style and personal taste, so go for it if that's what's important to you. But do try to keep it within the bounds of recognizable grammar, or you risk obscuring your meaning completely.
     
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  22. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Yes.

    No.

    No.

    That reply has more meaning put into it than the other three sentences combined. It's a clever sentence because of how minimalistic it is. If you had a character saying that in dialogue it could potentially have deeper meaning. And I think that's the problem. You take every word at face value and leave it there. You try to be creative by changing the order around. Creative you are, the order around itself changed as you tried. But the second sentence doesn't really mean anything beyond the words as they are and is harder to read. It doesn't really make it more dramatic in the correct way either messing with the words like that. And maybe that is disagreement you are having with everyone, what makes good drama. Why not to try writing something you think is funny? If drama isn't working try comedy for awhile. That's my advice since I went inactive for two years and come back and still see threads by you that are basically identical to the last time I was here. Obviously, posting these single sentences for review and discussing the feedback isn't working very well. Sometimes a change in circumstance, in this case writing with a different intention, maybe trying to make jokes instead of being dramatic, is the best way to break bad habits and come back with a better perspective. Sorry if that's harsh. My only intention here is to provide good advice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  23. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    It doesn't. It's an excellent choice when your goal is to be read and understood.
     
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  24. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Long meandering multi-clause sentences are always difficult to parse regardless of how they are written. It's because there's no obvious way to tell (except context) what is a sub-clause and what is a new subject. Especially with the olde worlde word choice it's hard to follow because I can't tell if that second comma closes a sub-clause and returns to the main subject or not. Just break it up into separate sentences instead of one big interrelated whole. That's what you need. Split it up into it's separate parts.
     
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  25. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Okay, I revised my third passage for clarity, but preserved the rhythm.

    Sandra, the beautiful, the most charming and noble of girls. She emanates warmth to the heart desiring her.

    I dropped the rest of it for now.
     

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