1. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question on editing and a word's usage

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by TWErvin2, Jun 5, 2007.

    I'm editing a story for an anthology and have a question for general readers. I am unsure if a particlular word should be used.

    Without going to look the word up, in context, can you tell me what it means (even if you already knew)?

    Here is the word in the context (with minor alteration of the wording) of the story:

    Each moon, it's a different city, a different motel, but always it can see me, grinning with its stolen light, and its gravity is indefatigable. Trapped like an asteriod in eternal elipse, once again I hurtle towards...

    Can you tell what indefatibable means?
    Should a more common synonym be used?

    Thanks for your input.

    Terry
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I do know the meaning of indefatigable, but it doesn't exactly seem to fit here, at least to me. It's more a word I would use to describe a small child who never seems to stop bouncing around the room.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    so do i, but i see no major problem using it there... as it basically means 'can't be worn out/down' it doesn't fit all that well with gravity, but since gravity is an 'energy' that doesn't 'run down' i'd say leave it alone and allow the author his/her literary license...
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As if I could stop him from using it even if I were so inclined - heh.

    But I think he was asking for opinions, and mine was that the connotation I associate with the word is more one of irrepressible activity than of a tenacious, unyielding grip. So for this reader, the word evokes an image of gravity wrestling every which way with its prey. If that is what he is trying to evoke, he succeeded (for me).

    I definitely do not believe in "dumbing down" the wording, which is another possible interpretation of his question. Whatever word paints the right picture is the one he should use.
     
  5. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    I would use the word "resilient" rather than indefatigable.

    It rolls off your tongue easier and has better grammatical syntax.

    To tell you the truth, your whole sentence sounds awkward.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Folks,

    Thanks for the input.

    Mammamaia, it's not my editorial style to dictate changes. I suggest, giving my opinion and options, one always being what the author has chosen. I think one of the big tricks is to edit while absolutely not interfering with the author's voice.

    I mainly focus on plot holes, consistency errors, grammar issues and typos, pacing and unncecessary wordiness. And I'm far from a professional/expert.

    As far as the sentences, I did alter them somewhat, maybe making them a bit less smooth, but I didn't really want to post, word for word, the author's writing.

    One of my concerns is that it is the beast emerging from within that is 'speaking', and I felt the word used was somewhat uncommon and unlikely for such. I was simply looking to see if it was a more commonly used and recognized word that I felt it was. If it was a word that a majority of readers did not recognize or could descern from the context, then that would weigh more heavily on my suggestion to the writer to use a synonym.

    Again, thanks all for the input.

    Terry
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ah - Light dawns on Marblehead...

    I did not realize that you were looking at another author's work. I thought you were seeking feedback on a paragraph you were having mixed feelings about in something you were writing.

    In that case, I might be inclined to ask the author what he or she intended to convey, and see if it aligns at all with the definition of indefatigable. The question alone may induce the writer to consider rephrasing it.
     

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