1. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    need help rephrasing

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dave_c, Oct 15, 2010.

    I think this is the correct section if not please feel free to move it.

    Iv been staring at this for so long and its driving me up the wall. Could someone help me rephrase this short area of text please, would really appreciate it. At the moment it just doesn't flow well at all.

    "Still, life imprisonment wasn’t just a phrase. When they said life, they meant your life, not a mere human life span, his would become considerably more unbearable once a few hundred years had passed."

    I honestly think i have just been staring at it for way too long.

    Any help greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    How I would do it, with the info provided:

    "When they said life, they meant life; not a mere human life span, or only a phase of it. His imprisonment would become more unbearable once the years had passed in their hundreds."

    *cough* Slight correction of spelling in there too. :p
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would word it:

    When they said life they didn't mean some meagre human life span. Imprisonment for him would become considerably more unbearable, after a few hundred years.
     
  4. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    hell yer, if we are both around for long enough you'll notice my spelling is terrible, i rely heavily on spell checker got me in a few uncomfortable situation, (referring to astrology on a science forum rather than astronomy, though it was funny to hear the berserk reactions). couldn't read or write until quite late in life and am doing this in order to help myself improve :)

    just had another read it, cant see the error, mind pointing it out for me :D

    thanks for the feed back, flows much much better like that.


    thanks, like this one, may tweak and use it :)
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Phase instead of phrase. :)

    I don't particularly like "few hundred years" in that sentence - it just sounds very casual, like, a flippant way of talking about it. Big up the drama! :p
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    but he meant 'phrase'!... as in 'life imprisonment'... not 'phase' which makes no sense...

    the problem there isn't spelling, which is correct, but word choice, since 'life imprisonment' isn't really a 'phrase' but only a 'term' or 'expression'...
     
  7. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Imagine how it would be for the person living through so many years in prison. For example, I imagine that they would become so indifferent and so used to their routines that they hardly notice what's going on around them. Then use your imagination in the description.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh blargh. I'm tired, sorry. :p Been writing an essay all day. *groan* I'll stop trying to be helpful...
     
  9. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    Melzaar, please don't stop being helpful, i value your input and appreciate your time, especially if you have been working all day.

    ah i see, yes it was meant to be phrase, but mammamaia is right, expression would have been a better word.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you leave it in figure of speech would work better than expression or phrase alternatively it would have to be empty expression or empty phrase etc.
     
  11. Egil1Eye
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    Egil1Eye Member

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    "Life imprisonment. It wasn't just a phrase anymore. Human life was one thing, this was his life. Let several human life spans go by and see just how inbearable he could get."

    This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but one of the things that I really had a problem with was "they meant your life," it didn't sit well with me when you went on to say "his would become...".
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The character isn't the only one with an interminable sentence.
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Zing!
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    he gotcha good, egil!

    but you do raise a valid point in re 'your' vs 'his'... good catch!
     
  15. Egil1Eye
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    Egil1Eye Member

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    What can I really say, oops :redface:
     
  16. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really don't see a whole lot wrong with this. The opening sentence of the phrase is clean and makes a pretty big impression. The second sentence probably needs to be broken into shorter ones. I see this guy as someone with a long ... LONG lifespan, making the prospect of a life sentence pretty daunting. You might consider something like:

     

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