1. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    Intently or intensely

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cain, Jun 20, 2011.

    considering intently, or considering intensely?

    They're probably both correct aren't they? I went with intently because it felt more inward, if that makes sense. The point is that I neglected the poor girl and intensely doesn't quite infer that.
     
  2. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    I'd say intently is right. However, switch it around - "intently considering" instead of "considering intently."
     
  3. Cain
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    ah, quick reply!

    I did wonder about switching them around, and you're right, it is better with intently first.

    Is it grammatically incorrect for 'I was probably considering intently whether...', or again can be either way round?
     
  4. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Suadade. Intently is better. The suggested switch is better.

    I might suggest further:

    I suspect you might need to add clarity to that opening sentence. Perhaps

    My second memory comes shortly after: I'm sitting in the playground with the object of my adoration.

    Give thought to the succession of events. Might it not be..

    You are lost in buttery thoughts..therefore you say nothing..therefore the moment is over. (This leaves you with a more appropriate climax.)
     
  5. Cain
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    I'd just noted that too :)

    I'd decided to add a comma though, and hadn't considered a colon. They tend to scare me a bit, and perhaps I should be braver. I probably write too many business documents with colons in them, and they have a formality that puts me off...

    The full paragraph is;

     
  6. Cain
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    She held a buttercup to my chin and told me that the yellow glow meant I liked butter. I was probably intently considering whether I liked butter or not, and said nothing. Then the moment was over.


    Something like that? 'Then the moment was over' feels a bit clichéd though?
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    The order works better IMO.
    I think 'whether I liked butter or not' is a bit clunky/unnecessarily precise and 'intently considering' just a touch too formal for this...Lost in thoughts of butter is softer, perhaps something of a cliche but I don't think that matters here..the scenario is a cliche (a nice, delightful one that bears repeating) which is why 'the moment was over' would work but only if you change the first use of moments for something else.IMO
     
  8. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    try "did i consider intently, whether i liked butter , or not. I said nothing and the moment was over"

    this way it stays in first person and doesnt switch to third half way through and also avoids the "probably intently considering" bit which just sounds bad

    *he says screwing up his grammar*
     
  9. Cain
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    I'm on the verge of understanding you, but I'm not totally sure. I definitely agree the 'whether I like butter or not' is clunky - I find myself building phrases like it was lego and just keep chucking extra bricks on.

    The situation did actually happen to me, although I'm happy to have lived through clichés. My missing of the moment was far more to do with my ineptitude at grasping the moment rather than being lost in my thoughts though (I was only 6, although nothing seems to have changed). That was why originally I had the reason I missed the moment last as it emphasised my naivety, rather than the fact I'd missed it.

    Btw, I just saw your reply to the weed thread, v funny :-D
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    neither one works well with 'considering' imo... this is a clear case of an instance where the 'avoid adverbs like the plague' dictum should be followed...
     
  11. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Truthfully, the same thing happened to me too. Pretty much.

    You might be right to tinker with the order..but 'moment' is absolutely fine provided the earlier line becomes something like..There are small images that remain.

    Moment connotes an awful lot that is readily understood by all..Leave aside this notion of cliche..it simply works.

    Likewise, lost in butter is pretty trite stuff but does what it needs to do efficiently and without jarring in the slightest.

    The scene is sweet and resonant (and perhaps not uncommon) and those familiar arrangements help rather than hinder here IMO.
     
  12. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Grammar wise 'intently considering' apart from being a mouthful is a split infinitive and technically incorrect.

    'Considering intently' - would be the correct way round.

    Although there are famous versions such as the Star Trek tag line 'to boldy go'.

    A lot of writers do split their infinitives, but only do so with the upmost care as it tends to suggest something is wrong with the sentence.

    Good Luck
     
  13. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    Now I need to google split infinitives :rolleyes:

    Thanks for everyone's help, I'm really pleased to have found this forum!

    I couldn't see the change in POV that flipflop referred to, although it did make me notice my tenses had slipped up (I think?), and I should have written;

    Then the moment was over, and I had said nothing


    With intently, I'm hovering over removing it now as per mammamaia's advice. I didn't quite intend to revise this bit quite as much as this. It's been interesting though :)
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was 'probably'...
    the word 'probably' sounds weak and unsure in your quote, I'd try and make it more positive.

    I would leave the word 'intently' out.
    e.g.
    I was too busy considering whether...

    I was too late or Too late, the moment had passed or slipped away,

    or

    Too late! I'd missed my chance, something I would rue for (however long)
     
  15. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I completely second the view that an adverb is not needed here, since 'consider' means 'think carefully' anyway, so the adverb is redundant.

    As to intensely vs intently, they have different meanings. The first means 'deeply felt', the second means 'very focussed on', so you need to chose according to what you mean to say. I don't personally see how you can have deep emotions about butter.
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No it isn't! There's not an infinitive in sight! (Even if there were, split infinitives are not necessarily incorrect in English; it depends who you ask.) "To intently consider" would be a split infinitive, "intently considering" isn't.
     

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