1. John Eff
    Offline

    John Eff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK

    Getting into a state

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by John Eff, Jun 5, 2012.

    This is driving me batty.

    Here's the context:

    “How can they possibly know?” Terry asked. “For one thing, they’re animals and for another they’re dead.”

    “Neither state prevents them from knowing, I assure you,”

    I've tried "Neither of which state prevents", "Neither state of which prevents", "Neither of which two states prevent", but nothing looks quite right.


    Yes, I could change the wording but now I've started I'm determined to use the blasted word. I'm like that.

    Any preferences as to which reads best?

    Ta very.
     
  2. P R Crawford
    Offline

    P R Crawford Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Morocco
    What's wrong with what you have - “Neither state prevents them from knowing, I assure you”?

    Sounds fine to me, perfectly understandable. Actually, you could drop the word "state" and say "Neither of which prevents them from knowing".

    "Neither of which state prevents" is a second choice, IMHO. The problem is really around the word "state" - being an animal is more a form than a state. And even if you might call it a state, it's a very different kind of state than being dead. So you might use a word like "factor", which is even more general than "state" and could apply within the same context to both animality and lifelessness.
     
  3. prettyprettyprettygood
    Offline

    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    I dont know which is technically correct but as it is dialogue 'Neither state prevents...' sounds best to me, the others sound a bit wooden.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Trust your instincts and move on. It sounds fine the way you have it, out of context. You'll have plenty of opportunity to change it during proofing.editing passes if it still bugs you. But don't let it bog you down now.
     
  5. John Eff
    Offline

    John Eff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Many thanks, people.

    Yes, I may end up doing that very thing if it improves the overall flow of the dialogue, but would prefer to keep it as it fits well with the character who says it.
     
  6. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    What's wrong with "Neither state"? Sounds fine. The other variations all sound weird. Stick to "Neither state" or otherwise, as another has suggested, "Neither of which" is better in my opinion.

    Btw I liked your pun :p
     
  7. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    As others have said, trust your instincts and move on. Personally I'd drop the "from" -- "Neither state prevents them knowing." But it's dialogue, so it doesn't matter what's correct, clearest or whatever. What matters is whether it's what your character would actually say, and I doubt your character checks online writing forums before each utterance.
     
  8. Program
    Offline

    Program Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Writing a Program
    What "word" are you referring to when you say "use the blasted word?"

    I think "Neither state prevents them from knowing, I assure you" works fine. I don't fully understand the context, but would "They know, regardless of the state in which they are, I assure you" or "They know, regardless of state" fit into the context and sound better?
     

Share This Page