1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Grr. Can't decide...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by madhoca, May 22, 2009.

    I can't decide how this should be punctuated. Should I leave it like this:

    - A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth, toothpaste advertisement style.

    Or, should I do this:

    - A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth,
    toothpaste-advertisement style.

    Or should I reword the whole thing?

    P.S. I hate using the word 'like' unless it's absolutely unavoidable. Call me strange...
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would go ahead and overcome your bias against like in this case. It would be less awkward. In any case, don't use a hyphen to join toothpaste advertisement.

    I prefer metaphors to similes myself, so I am no great advocate of like. But the simple simile does have a place.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It depends on the style of your writing. If toothpaste advertisment style fits in with your writing, I'd use that. Its more memorable and distinctive than like a toothpast ad...but its the kind of thing that would totally ruin a piece of writing if it didn't really belong.....so its a judgement call, i think
     
  4. Aenigma
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    Aenigma New Member

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    I like this one better then the hyphenated version, the hyphen really isn't nessecary.
     
  5. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth, much like a smile in a toothpaste ad. That would be my way of writing it.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, people!
     
  7. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    In your specific example, the hyphen is appropriate (but clutters up the image even further with an unwieldy adjective). Personally, I think you should revisit your hatred of similes. "A dazzling splinter of light [reflected] from [a full set of (its is unnecessary, in any case)] pearly teeth flashed like a toothpaste advertisement" is a whole lot less awkward than what you have (IMO). Otherwise, I'd vote for a rewrite."
     
  8. OrdinaryJoe
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    A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth, reminiscent of a toothpaste advertisement.
     
  9. Kittywings
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    Kittywings New Member

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    Don't forget the possessive "it's"!!!
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, (if you are being serious) the possessive must be 'its', kitty. 'it's' isn't possessive, it means 'it is'.

    I've reworded slightly:

    A splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth like a toothpaste advertisement.

    I wanted to keep the language fairly simple.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Kittywings
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    Kittywings New Member

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    Ooops...:(

    Oh well, you don't know if you don't try.
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep...
    "Get to know what it is you don't know as fast as you can": Robert Heller.
     

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