1. N4T3YL4D
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    N4T3YL4D Banned

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    Is this sentence correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by N4T3YL4D, Aug 19, 2011.

    ''Here…'' A loud thud of leather landed beside me, ''…Take this,'' came the voice.


    This is a bit of a tricky one (for me at least), but I was wondering if that sentence is correct?
     
  2. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he's throwing and speaking at the same time, I'd be tempted to phrase it along these lines: 'Here, take this,' he said as he lobbed the object. I heard a thud beside me.
     
  3. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the timing is important. The thud comes before the "Take this!" But I'm not sure about a thud landing beside him. I'd go for:
    ''Here!'' Something leathery thudded to the ground beside me. ''Take this,'' came the voice.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No. You never begin with an ellipsis.

    Beyond correctness, it is terminally awkward.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Digitig's rewrite is better than the original. And Cogito is right - don't start a sentence with an ellipsis.
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are some very specialised contexts in which you do -- writing a manga script, for example, where an ellipsis on its own is used to make it explicit that a character remains silent. I've also seen it used at the start of a section or when a radio is turned on, when the dialog picks up in mid sentence. What do you think of that use?

    Anyway, the original poster's example isn't one of those exceptions, so the ellipses do jar somewhat.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "--is how you pick up a sentence after the beginnjing, not an ellipsis." An em-dash, not an ellipsis, denotes interrupted speech, and it can appear at the beginning. An ellipsis denotes trailing off speech, where the speaker doesn't complete a thought. There is no literary equivalent for a thought "trailing in," so ellipses do not appear at the start of a sentence fragment.

    I won't get into manga. That is a completely different form than linear writing, which is this site's focus. It takes liberties not acceptable to linear writing, including using text graphically (size, shape and color).
     
  8. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    ''Here--'' A loud thud of leather landed beside me. '--Take this."

    Would cut 'came the voice' unless it's not clear via context that this is a voice coming. If the voice is simply out of the blue, then I'd attribute it after the 'here.'

    Saying the voice occurred so long after its occurrence is redundant.

    And I have no clue what a thud of leather is. Is that like a flock of geese or a troop of baboons?

    If the thud is simply describing the noise, then 'loud' isn't really needed as thuds are implied to be loud, and I'd only mention it if it was somehow a muffled thud.

    "Here," the voice called out. A [what is the object?!] of leather landed beside me with a thud. "Take this."

    "Here," the voice called out. A [thing] of leather thudded to the ground beside me. "Take this."

    To speed it up and make it a bit more hectic can make the 'here' and thud more of a quick one-two punch:

    "Here," the voice called out right before a hunk of leather thudded to the floor beside me. "Take this."

    That way it adds a bit more chaos, and subsequent humor in the 'take this,' if that's the right tone/mood/etc.

    "Here," the voice called out as a hunk of leather whizzed by my ear, thudding at my feet. "Take that!"
     
  9. Declan
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    Declan Senior Member

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    I've seen more than one published book 'trail in' a thought using an ellipsis, Tom McCarthy's Men In Space being the most recent example I have read that I can think of. I myself use the ellipsis to 'trail in' thoughts as the em-dash just looks too abrupt. An ellipsis in linguistics denotes words missing from a clause, so, it wouldn't be incorrect whether it was at the front or the back, as long as that purpose is fufilled- not that any rules really matter in literature, if one wishes to break them.
     
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  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    none of it makes any sense, sorry to say, and wouldn't pass a half-decent editor's first glance...

    the ellipses are incorrectly used

    'thud of leather' makes no sense

    a 'thud' can't land since it's only a sound

    'came the voice' makes no sense as a dialog tag, since a 'voice' isn't a person and doesn't = words on its own
     
  11. Blackgamen
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    Blackgamen Member

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    Mamma always knows best. :)
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well, not always... but almost!?

    one of my own greatest/worst lines is: 'i'm so perfect, i know i'm not!' ;)
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just one extra thought. A "thud" is a type of ball used for juggling. They're usually PVC nowadays, I think, but they used to be made of leather, in which case one could (at a push" be described as as a "thud of leather", and if the colour were garish then I suppose "a loud thud of leather" could land beside you. :D
     

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