1. vanilla16
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    vanilla16 Member

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    Is this sentence correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by vanilla16, Aug 15, 2011.

    Is this sentence correct?: Laughing loudly, he doubled over, lost his balance, wobbled forward, and crashed to the sandy ground.


    I asked on Y!A, but I think I'd have better luck asking a hamster. . .
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's fine, so long as you're happy that your chap is still laughing while he doubles over, loses his balance, wobbles forward, and crashes to the sandy ground...which is all pretty believable.
     
  3. beaver777
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    beaver777 Member

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    ....
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's correctly punctuated, but certainly could stand rewriting.
     
  5. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    It looks fine, but there are too many things for the reader to keep track of in one sentence. And I think you don't need to mention that he loses his balance. Everything else in the sentence already implies that. Nobody doubles over and wobbles forward without losing his or her balance. Also, could you not cut out "sandy ground" and just say "sand"?

    How about, "Cracking up caused him to double over onto the sand."
     
  6. DBock
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    Laughing loudly, he doubled over, lost his balance, wobbled forward, and crashed to the sandy ground.

    Could be changed to --- He doubled over as he laughed loudly. Losing balance, he crashed to the sand.

    Or --- He laughed until he was doubled over and losing his balance. Unable to stand any longer from the fits that coursed through him he crashed to the sand.

    Or --- He laughed so hard until he finally lost balance and fell to the sand in a heap.


    Make sure that their is transition in your actions, else it all happens at once.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Or:

    He doubled over and howled with laughter, then overbalanced and planted his face in the sand.
     
  8. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Active Member

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    Vanilla16
    Actually, wouldn't it end this way:
    wobbled forward and crashed to the sandy ground.

    In a single listing of events, it's not necessary to follow a comma with the word 'and'.
    Let me rephrase. It's not necessary to use a comma with the word 'and' in a single listing.
     
  9. DBock
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    DBock Member

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    You make it almost sound elegant. :)
     
  10. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the sentence. It is charming and has a very happy rhythm. Those four pieces of description, set off with commas, give rise to a certain tension which is released by ' and crashed to the sandy ground.' ...the seven syllables doing what five or nine could not achieve.
     
  11. Sevvie
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    I like Art's point, and I must agree with him.

    If you are wanting to achieve that sort of rhythm which would be more appropriate when wanting the line to be humorous, "Laughing loudly, he doubled over, lost his balance, wobbled forward, and crashed to the sandy ground." would be just fine.

    However if the line is supposed to be more serious, I would consider rewriting it as other people have suggested. It all depends on how you want the sentence to come across.
     
  12. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    I think it's the 'laughing loudy' that sounds weak compared to what follows. I would prefer:

    He laughed loudly, doubled over, lost his balance, wobbled forward and crashed into the sandy ground.
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Laughing loudly" has the advantage that it indicates that he kept laughing through the whole process. Assuming that's what's intended. If it's not then "Laughing loudly" has the disadvantage that it indicates... etc.

    As I visualise it, if he's doubled over then it would be the top of his head that would hit the ground first, not his face.
     
  14. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    i agree with art :)

    it all depends on what your looking for, maybe if you shared and explained what exactly you were looking to describe in the sentence then we could say for certian what would be the best option. but in the end its your writing so your decision :)
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I envisioned him looking up when he lost his balance, and ending up eating sand. As you envisioned it, he planted his head in the sand.

    The original sentence could be interpreted either way, because it was very vague about how he landed. Other variations could be written as well. :)
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's almost as if writers could end up with distinct, recognisable writing styles isn't it? :D
     
  17. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Doubled up laughing, he lost his balance and crashed on to the sandy ground.
     

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