1. learnerofenglish
    Offline

    learnerofenglish New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Does this sentence have the correct punctuation?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by learnerofenglish, Apr 27, 2010.

    It becomes my refuge from the everyday world: the oasis in the middle of the desert of life.

    I'm referring to the colon between 'world' and 'the'. Somehow, it doesn't sound quite right. If you can also rearrange the word orders to make this sentence more grammatically correct and pleasing, please do so.
     
  2. Ninetails666
    Offline

    Ninetails666 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Qc, Montreal
    According to Microsoft Word 2007, its right... I don't know how it just is... So I think your fine with either the colon or the other one (semi-colon??), yet again, Word 07 is pretty stupid so I'm kinda hesitant if I should say 'go for it'.

    Don't take my word for it if you don't want to but my Word says it's correct.

    Sorry I can't be of any more help -^-^'''''-
     
  3. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    It would be better to write something along the terms of
    What you have there is very awkward to read.
     
  4. KP Williams
    Offline

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    My place
    I'd personally say...

    The second part simply adds poetic imagery to the first part. I'd save the colons for when the second part actually expands upon or clarifies the first part. For instance, if you're talking about a literal oasis in a desert becoming your refuge, the colon would be acceptable in my eyes. But in all likelihood, there would still be better ways to put it. Less awkward ways.

    I also have to disagree with thirdwind's correction. In the most unoffensive way possible, I think it sounds a little dull and uninspiring when you word it like that. But that is, of course, assuming that I'm correct in assuming the bit about the oasis being a non-literal metaphor. If we're speaking of an actual oasis, then I would take thirdwind's example. But since you said "desert of life," I'd guess that isn't the case.
     
  5. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    I will suggest you to omit the second part because it sounds cliche.
     
  6. learnerofenglish
    Offline

    learnerofenglish New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for replying ^^
    I think I will go with FMK, and yes it refers to a non-literal metaphor.
    Again thanks a lot for helping me :D
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    aside from the cliched wording itself, i agree with fmk on the best way to punctuate it...
     
  8. Eternity
    Offline

    Eternity Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    What about a semi-colon? (It becomes my refuge from the everyday world; the oasis in the middle of the desert of life.) Otherwise, I'd go with FMK's comma, too. :)
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    as does my fellow ;-hating pal cog, i always advise not using semi-colons in fiction... in all instances, a comma, period, em dash, or conjunction will do a much better job...
     
  10. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    A comma there would be fine. Fowler says that using a semicolon there is "not wrong", and that using a colon instead of the semicolon is an "individual choice". So it's some way away from the usual punctuation, but it's still legitimate. Interestingly, Fowler notes in particular that a colon is used in that context in metrical Psalms, and your sentence does have the structure of the Hebrew poetry of the Psalms. If that's the effect that you want then it's a good reason to keep the colon. In isolation I like your version better than any of the alternatives yet proposed, but that might not be the case in context.
     

Share This Page