1. bushman1
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    bushman1 Member

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    Some feedback please on specific wording

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by bushman1, Dec 2, 2014.

    Hello,
    I'm new here. I would like to get some feedback on certain lines in a book I've written. Specifically, is there an industry standard or is it more up to the discretion of the author. The following are 3 ways of writing the same ending in a paragraph.

    After analyzing the lines on my palm, I was told I was going to die young. This was quite the revelation since I was perhaps 11 or 12 years old. I needed to make some changes to my shortened life. After all, that's not something you would tell someone unless it was really in the cards palm.

    After analyzing the lines on my palm, I was told I was going to die young. This was quite the revelation since I was perhaps 11 or 12 years old. I needed to make some changes to my shortened life. After all, that's not something you would tell someone unless it was really in the cards palm.

    After analyzing the lines on my palm, I was told I was going to die young. This was quite the revelation since I was perhaps 11 or 12 years old. I needed to make some changes to my shortened life. After all, that's not something you would tell someone unless it was really in the cards "palm".

    I am trying to convey a little humor. Are all 3 acceptable? Which one conveys humor best that I had my palm read and no one would tell that to me unless it was really true and in the cards. oops, I mean palm. I lean towards the second italics version. Any thoughts. Thank you.
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    'on the cards'
    'in the stars'

    slight confusion between the phrases which is why it doesn't read correctly.
     
  3. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Subjectively, I like the first one best. It is the most downplayed, and downplayed is good. It looks the most like the first word that came out of your mouth pen was "cards" and you instinctively crossed it out and replaced it with the right word.

    Anyway, it is how I personally implement the strikeout gag. (To be honest, though, I have only ever used it in forum posts...)
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I like the first version, and on the few occasions I've seen this in published fiction I believe that is the format that was used.
     
  5. Eric Byers
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    Eric Byers Member

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    My opinion is, the strike through is a little 'out there' but I like Chinspinner's suggestion.
     
  6. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Chinspinner is right, it was the first thing i noticed. 'In the cards' isn't the correct phrase.
     
  7. bushman1
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    bushman1 Member

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    Thank you folks. I noticed some of you are from Britain. I grew up in the US and it was always "in the cards" Interesting that it must be slightly different over there. :)
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, "in the cards" is correct here.
     
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  9. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    didnt even consider the location difference.

    It's odd that its 'in the cards' i meant the details, the art or if you're that way inclined the "meaning" is literally printed ON the cards....strange.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think it alludes to cards as a deck, and whatever fortune you are seeking not being anywhere in the deck of cards.
     
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  11. bushman1
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    bushman1 Member

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    The way I look at it.. I have a pack of cards. My fate is in the cards. If I had a single card, I can see my fate is on the card. Card and cards may be key in looking at the sentence properly. I appreciate the input.
     
  12. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Which makes sense. Well that changes the meaning of the OP's piece and I would stick with the first example.
     
  13. The O'Rahilly
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    The O'Rahilly New Member

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    Hi Bushman

    I prefer the first, which seems to be the consensus. I have another suggestion, if you'll excuse some nerdiness on my part.

    Although you don't mention another character by name, I got the impression it was a second person who read the viewpoint character's fortune (as in, it wasn't the viewpoint character reading their own palm).

    If that's the case, then "After analyzing the lines on my palm, I was told I was going to die young" is actually a dangling participle.

    The "after analyzing the lines on my palm" part of the sentence is a participle phrase, which technically should refer to the subject of the phrase that follows that. However, the subject in your following phrase is "I", who didn't do the analyzing (if I've understood this correctly).

    So the options left would be: "After analyzing the lines on my palm, the old woman (for example) told me I was going to die young", or: "After the lines on my palm were analyzed, I was told I was going to die young".

    Sorry for boring everybody to tears nitpicking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
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  14. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nerds rule!

    I prefer option 1/; the second one is entirely in the passive voice.
     
  15. bushman1
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    bushman1 Member

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    Hello O' Rahilly and Shadowfax,
    I'm sorry I haven't checked in sooner. The last 4 days have been spent editing. I appreciate the input. I'm going with version one. As far as the dangling participle... wow I'll study that a bit more. Everybody's at a disadvantage since I only posted a few lines and the context is missing. You folks are good though. Some of these terms I haven't heard for 40 years. Thanks again for the opinions.
     
  16. bushman1
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    bushman1 Member

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    O'Rahilly,
    I did my homework and you are 100% right. It was out there dangling. I've made the correction. Thanks.
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would eliminate the strikeout entirely:

    After all, that's not something you would tell someone unless it was really in the cards...er, palm.
     
  18. bushman1
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    bushman1 Member

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    Thanks ChickenFreak for the input.
     

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