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  1. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    Grammatic question about the title

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Keyvee, Aug 24, 2008.

    I am not a native speaker of English, but still I try to write a book in that language. I have asked a few native speakers if the title can be understood correctly, but now I have doubts. Hence the question: The title of the book is Supernatural Counter Unit, can it be understood in the way that it is unit to fight supernatural beings, or rather a unit consisting of supernatural beings to fight something. The doubt came about after seeing for instance counter terrorist unit, where what is countered is after the word "counter". Can it be before the word "counter" like in my suggestion? Thanks for help.
     
  2. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Supernatural Counter Unit?
    The first thing that sprang to my attention upon hearing that title was the use of the words 'Counter' and 'Unit', both of which can refer to a kitchen surface (worktop, unit, counter, countertop are a few words that refer to it). I know it wasn't intended in that way, but I have a feeling many people will take it that way.
    'Unit' would probably do better alone...could you change the word 'counter' to something else...? It might just be me, but I've never heard that word used like this.
     
  3. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    What about counter-terrorist? it means something like "against" and unit like a part of an army, team or something like that.
     
  4. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    It does also mean 'against', as I said, the worktop thing was the first thing that sprang to my mind.
    Counter Unit...It sounds like you're talking about a unit that's against the supernatural unit. Or a supernatural unit that's against something else...
    It doesn't make much sense to me personally, but I'd wait for some other opinions if I were you.
     
  5. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    You do get counter-terrorist units, in the same way that americans have "counter-clockwise".

    If you need a replacement something like "anti-" as a prefix might work, but I still think "counter" sounds better personally, and most people will be aware of "counter terrorist units" so I think you're unlikely to have any confusion.

    Perhaps instead of "Supernatural Counter Unit" it should be the "Counter Supernatural Unit", otherwise it sounds like you're counting the supernatural instead of countering them.
     
  6. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    ^ Leo's right - Counter Supernatural Unit is clearer. But then again, it's still pretty confusing.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that title is not going to make good sense no matter how you switch the word order around... and 'counter' is not going to make sense unless you make it a compound word, like 'counter-terrorism/t'...

    if you want it to mean that 'natural' beings are doing battle with 'supernatural' ones, then it has to be something like 'anti-supernatural unit'... counter not working well with 'surpernatural'...

    if you want it to mean that 'supernaturals' are the ones who do battle with something, then it would be, 'supernaturals anti-/counter-whatever unit' or 'anti-/counter-whatever supernatural unit'... the latter, while grammatically correct, would still be prone to confusion, however... and the former is a bit awkward...
     
  8. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    All in All:
    My book book is about 5 people (humans) who form a team to deal with supernatural beings, thus the title according to Your suggestion should be anti-supernatural unit. Counter-supernatural unit does not do the work (even though it is something like Counter-terrorist unit but instead of terrorist they deal with supernaturals and paranormals.). Did I understand it correctly?
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    All those titles read awkwardly to me. Why not change the title to describe the other side or the supernatural/normal human responsibilities of the 5 main characters - something like:

    The Human Defense Unit or League or Team
    Defenders of Humanity

    - or -

    Earth Defense Team/League/Unit/etc.
     
  10. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps Supernatural Defense Unit would work? It could still be interpreted two ways: as a unit defending against the supernatural, or as a unit using the supernatural as a defense, but both interpretations would be pretty close to what you intend.

    Disclaimer: English is not my native language either.
     
  11. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    It could also be interpreted as being a unit that defends the supernatural.
     
  12. Keyvee
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    Keyvee Member

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    I will probably go with ASAT- Anti-Supernatural Assault Team.
    I made a poll about the title, but I don't know why it was deleted.
     
  13. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I like ASAT

    The Anti-Supernaturals

    I think The Anti-Supernaturals is good for the book title. It is short and impactful. However inside the book I would refer to them as ASAT professionally and Anti-Supernaturals casually, perhaps.

    Just an idea.
     

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