1. FreeBird24
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    FreeBird24 New Member

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    Trying to find that right word

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by FreeBird24, Mar 12, 2012.

    Sometimes trying to find that right impact word can be frustrating. As is the case right now, so I'm hoping someone might be able to help me out.

    Is there a word, or a good way to phrase this:

    somebody who is slowly slipping, losing their 'humanity', falling down a wicked spiral, losing their morals, becoming merciless

    I was gonna use 'slowly losing his humanity', but it doesn't sound or feel right, there has to be a better short phrase. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    degenerate into moral depravity
     
  3. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Single words that might work:
    Dehumanize- to deprive of human qualities or attributes
    Barbarize- to make barbarous; brutalize; corrupt
    Brutalize- to make brutal, or to treat [someone] with brutality

    Phrases:
    His heart hardens
    He becomes gradually ruthless
    He submits to inhuman barbarity

    That's all I can think of...
     
  4. lorilee
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    lorilee Member

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    descent in depravity?
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Words/phrases that could be played with to fit:

    uncivilised/barbaric
    Dorian Grey/Faust effect
    hellbound
    inhumane
    dog-eat-dog
    merciless
    callous
    or very Lady Macbeth - devoid of the milk of human kindness, so maybe the milk of human kindness is flowing from him.
     
  6. FreeBird24
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    FreeBird24 New Member

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    Late night writing with a tired mind can lead to frustrating moments, especially when you know what you want to say but can't figure out how to put it into words.
    Thank you very much!
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unless you are writing a synopsis, I wouldn't try to sum it up in a single phrase. But a descent into heartless savagery might come close.
     
  8. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    I think if it's for an essay, it's probably good to sum it up in a single phrase. Creative writing, maybe not. It depends on context. Good suggestion.
     
  9. blandmanblind
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    blandmanblind Member

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    I must agree with Cogito that if this is for fiction, even if it has already happened in the story, it is far better to show it through actions than sum it all up in a character's epithet. But:

    "As the pain turns to ache so too did his conscience subside. The feeble, hollow voice soon would gasp for air."

    I really don't think you can get across what you want to say in only four words.
     
  10. FreeBird24
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    FreeBird24 New Member

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    Great input. The point was to sum up the broad stroke of the story into a single sentence. I won't be using it in the actual story.
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    "Degenerate" is another word that no one's mentioned yet (at least not that I've noticed: I'm a big-picture person and sometimes not the best with details), but that word also sometimes has a self-righteous connotation. It really depends on the context where the word appears.

    If you can use a phrase rather than a single word, you could also say that the person has lost their integrity.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    "His soul shriveled until it was nothing more than a dried-up souvenir, a memory of what it had been like to be human. He still took it out now and then for special occasions, motivated by boredom more than loneliness."

    Eh. I typed it, so I'll post it.
     
  13. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    His very (human) nature, burned from the marrow of his bones like damp tinder: slow but steady, until there was nothing left but cold, dead ash.

    I'd like credit if you use this, lol. Muahahahaha :p
     
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  14. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    Inhuman rationalization

    A better way is to just not say it and show it through actions.
     
  15. FreeBird24
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    FreeBird24 New Member

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    I come in and read some of the things you guys write, and it makes me realize that I have a long way to go before I can even consider myself a decent wordsmith. Kudos to all of you and the visuals that leap from your words.
     
  16. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Actually, this was mentioned in the first post:

    :D
     
  17. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Don't sweat it, Freebird, there's also some really purple prose posted here that I wouldn't recommend you try to emulate ;)
     
  18. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    "somebody who is slowly slipping, losing their 'humanity', falling down a wicked spiral, losing their morals, becoming merciless"

    Insane. Dead. No, really, I can't think of any. But as long as we're here, how would you describe a person who feels entitled to things she isn't?
     
  19. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Burdened with an undeserved sense of entitlement?
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    selfish or greedy ;)
     
  21. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Arrogant
    Self-entitled
    Self-important
    Big-headed
    Ego-centric
    An asshole...although I don't really recommend this last one, except in a rather specific kind of piece...
     
  22. Dubya
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    Dubya Member

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    'Losing their moral integrity'....
     
  23. williamthe1st
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    williamthe1st New Member

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    mirthless. loss of lucid thought(s)
     

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