1. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Little standing

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by HorusEye, Oct 22, 2009.

    I'm not sure how this sentence would be correct...

    "I hold no small standing among them."?

    "I have no little standing among them."?

    Or something third?

    Cheers
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    either is a negative, meaning you actually have some significant standing... and both are awkwardly worded, regardless of your standing...
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I've only ever seen "small" used in that way, and since its more of a turn of phrase than a well-constructed sentence, its not really appropriate or correct to replace small with a synonym.
     
  4. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I think putting it into the negative complicates the point unnecessarily, as does "among them" as opposed to, say, "in that group." Might say something more affirmative, like "I was in good standing in that particular group," or "My standing in that group was undisputed" or "... secured by ..." or something that shows more clearly what you mean by the word "standing." Otherwise, "standing among them" itself sounds almost clause-like--i.e., that you ARE standing among them--as in standing on your feet, which I think is why "llittle standing" or "small standing" (and especially "no little standing" or "no small standing") creates at least a momentary wrinkle in the meaning. So, yes, I'd vote for "something third.":)
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Maybe that sentence isn't used in America? It's a fairly common sentence construction in Britain, though as I said, its used as a turn of phrase so modifying it is incorrect. Though it looks like if you wanna be understood in the USA you might need to find a way to reword it.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "No small standing" would be correct, but it probably flies right over most readers' heads. It's probably an archaic idiom, I don't think I have heard it in a while.
     
  7. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    "I hold no small standing among them" sounds perfectly fine to me. . But then, I read a lot of archaic dialogue in fantasy. The sentence is correctly formed and there's nothing at all wrong with it in the context of dialogue. All that matters is whether or not it suits your character/culture. I can't imagine anyone having trouble understanding. . It's a pretty common phrase in certain genres.

    The negative is certainly no more crude or confusing than "I don't got no. . ."
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    The first one as others have said, but it sounds stiff and old. If that's the goal, then it works.
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for all the input!

    The sentence is appended to another sentence, that defines who "them" are, so "that group" would sound clunky in context.

    The character that speaks is meant to sound oldfashioned and stiff in his speech, like pompous royalists in the olde days of Britain. So if it leaves that impression, great :)

    Saying "no small standing" instead of "high standing" is his poor attempt at sounding falsely modest.

    I was simply in doubt about the correct way of placing "standing".

    Now I'm considering this instead, perhaps it's clearer:

    "I am of considerable standing among them."

    I'm not sure if it's falsely modest in quite the same fashion, but perhaps it's clearer?
     

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