1. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    I need your help

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Matt!, Jan 27, 2011.

    I am not very good at all with my grammar and punctuation.

    I was wondering if anyone could help me, below is what I have written. I feel it does have much flow to it and the grammar and punctuation is not good.

    Could anyone give a me a point in the right direction. :)

    Also I want to take it to the "now", when I met him.
    I can't seem to understand the transition.
    It keeps going wrong

    Cheers :D
     
  2. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    "The Evening Standard" is a proper name, so it should be capitalised.

    You can add a comma in this sentence, but I don't think it's necessary:
    "Sergio lived down the road from me, and I regularly saw him drinking in the bar my mother worked at."

    Your use of the semicolon looks impeccable to me.

    I'd insert a comma here:
    "Whenever I saw him, he would raise his battered brown fedora"

    How are you trying to take it to the "now"? Give an example, please.
    You could just write something like, "One Friday, I saw him at the bar, and went up to greet him. He replied..."
     
  3. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Thank you I will change that.

    I will add that comma in, because I think that sounds better.

    Thank you

    Thats better, thanks.

    That's exactly what I meant, thank you.
    Maybe? "I was waiting one day to walk my mother home from work, when....."

    Do you think what I have written flows ok so far?

    Thank you for your help!
     
  4. bassa82
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    bassa82 New Member

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    I would replace the full stop after "old" with a comma, since the word "that" in this context ties two sentences together, and can't really be the first word in a new sentence here :)
     
  5. Eldritch
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    Eldritch Member

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    Just a suggestion, but I think the first sentence sounds awkward. I'd change it to something like:

    I was seventeen in the spring of 1956.

    Or

    I turned seventeen in the spring of 1956.

    Or

    It was the spring of 1956, I had/would turned seventeen earlier/later that year.

    Personally, I prefer the first one, for the sake of keeping the piece flowing.
     
  6. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Thank you
    It's starting to make more sense to me
     
  7. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Thanks, I totally agree with you.

    I prefer the first one :D
     
  8. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    I have change it a little, what do you think?


    I was seventeen in the spring of 1956, when I met Sergio Greco, a established journalist with The Evening Standard. Sergio lived down the road from me, and I regularly saw him drinking in the bar my mother worked at. He was popular; he seemed to know everyone. Whenever I saw him, he would raise his battered brown fedora and smile politely to everyone he met.
     
  9. Haribo Icecream
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    Haribo Icecream Member

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    It should also be "an established journalist" :)
     
  10. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Oh yeah, I didn't see that
     
  11. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    It was early spring, 1956 when I met Sergio Greco. I was seventeen. He was an established journalist with The Evening Standard and lived down the road from me. I regularly saw him drinking in the bar where my mother worked.

    Sergio was popular; he seemed to know everyone.

    And then I have a problem with the last sentence. The way you have written it suggests that he only ever raised his hat when you saw him.

    Whenever I saw him, he would be raising his battered brown fedora and smiling, politely, to everyone he met. or

    It seemed that every time I saw him, he was raising his battered brown fedora and smiling politely to everyone he met.

    It's only a small difference, but it changes the meaning of the sentence.

    I don't know what you mean by bring it into the 'now', unless it's that you want to write it in the present tense, which would mean writing as if it's happening now.

    It's early spring, 1956. Sergio Greco is leaning on the bar where my mother works. He is popular.....
     
  12. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    That makes a massive difference, that's sounds ten times better.

    What I want is to write it in the past tense.
    I'm getting all muddled up though.

    Thanks
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    And instead of "He was popular with everyone", you could have "Everyone smiled back, too." At the risk of treading on another thread, a bit of showing, not telling.
     
  14. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Sorry, I don't get you,I could put what where?
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    was seventeen in the spring of 1956, when I met Sergio Greco, a established journalist with The Evening Standard. Sergio lived down the road from me, and I regularly saw him drinking in the bar my mother worked at. It seemed that every time I saw him, he was raising his battered brown fedora and smiling politely to everyone he met. And everyone smiled back, too.​
     
  16. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    ..for they were intimidated by his menacing muscularity.
    ..largely, of course, because of the dictates of social convention. Many despised the ****er

    ;)
     
  17. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Oh right I see, I like "and everyone smile back, too", but I'm not if I should keep the "he was popular; he seemed to know everyone" bit as well
     
  18. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Thanks for all the advice everyone.

    I did write a bit more, see what you think

    It was early spring, 1956 when I met Sergio Greco. I was seventeen. He was an established journalist with The Evening Standard and lived down the road from me. I regularly saw him drinking in the bar where my mother worked. He was popular; he seemed to know everyone. It seemed that every time I saw him, he was raising his battered brown fedora and smiling politely to everyone he met, and everyone smiled back, too. He always drank whisky. He would swagger into the bar, place his coat neatly onto a barstool and lean into the bar. "The usual please" he would say to my mother, smiling widely as she poured a glass for him. One day I was sitting at the bar talking to my mother, and he came and sat down next to me, grinning straight at me.
     
  19. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    There is an excellent book available entitled, The Elements of Style by Howard Strunk and E.B. White. It covers most of the common rules for writing in the English language. I find it an invaluable refrence. It is thin enough to read in a couple of hours. I read my copy frequently -- and still mess up -- that's why it's nice to have aready refrence.

    Good luck.
     
  20. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Showing always entails a risk that the reader will interpret what is being shown in the wrong way :rolleyes:
     
  21. Matt!
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    Matt! Member

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    Thanks
    I will look for on amazon.
    :D
     
  22. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, that's the idea, it's instead of "he was popular; he seemed to know everyone". It gives people an image rather than a fact. By the way, "smiled", not "smile".
     
  23. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Search the web for for "50 years of stupid grammar advice" before you decide to spend money on it, though.
     
  24. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quite.:rolleyes: I was echoing the other thread that you were ostensibly loath to tread on.;) And so on.
     
  25. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    At least this time showing is shorter :D
     

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