1. nacht
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    nacht Member

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    Using the word 'Daunt'

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by nacht, Dec 25, 2009.

    Alright, so I'm working on something I posted about a little while ago, and I've come to an alliteration. I'm not sure if I should use it, nor if I should use the word "Daunt" in the context I am.

    Here's the definition of Daunt (Answers.com)
    ...and here's the excerpt (including the previous sentence, to demonstrate context)
    Can I use this word in this form? Should I use the alliteration at all?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Ali Shonak
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    Ali Shonak New Member

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    Hi,
    to "daunt" is an action meant to frighten, discourage, etc., which would work, but is it possible that in the context of the paragraph you mean "taunt," as in 'to mock, insult,' and such? Probably not. Not sure on this one. Also, I had to familiarize myself with the double bladed dagger.

    A.
     
  3. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    "When one man heaved a hefty laugh, she spoke. “You laugh like a madman in the face of an athame, yet it will be your undoing.” Cyn showed no aggression towards the men. Like liquid, her double-bladed dagger danced delightfully during her daunt."

    "Daunt" is a transitive verb--i.e., it's not a noun (as you've used it), but an action word and particularly one that requires an object (transitive). Here, in your example you're using the word as a noun (i.e., "... during her tirade," "... during her dance," "... during her daunt." So, the answer is no, you can't use it that way (and be grammatically correct), unless you're creating a new kind of language for the story you tell. Like the "daunt" you're perceiving is sort of like an intimidating, insurmountable dance of some kind (though she's showing "no aggression)--that's kind of what I would perceive, I think. But that requires some skill and consistency within the story you tell.
     
  4. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I like it. My new word of the day.
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Daunt use it...LOL
     
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  6. Ali Shonak
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    Ali Shonak New Member

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    Back to my previous comment: I knew "daunt" could be used as a noun. I worked up an appetite looking it up, but now I can ease my mind and sit down to a great Christmas dinner.
    "Daunt" has been used as a noun in my region. It describes someone who is both your daughter and aunt at the same time-- Some grandmothers! Some grandsons!! tsk, tsk, tsk. I lost my appetite. :eek:
     
  7. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I think it all depends on who your audience is and why you use it. I love the word, but I don't think I'll use it in my writing. I use too many plain words in my writing, unfortunetly. It would appear I need to invest in a thesaurus...
     
  8. Delphinus
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    Delphinus Senior Member

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    Wait, 'daunt' is now a difficult (i.e. not suitable for the 'junk novel' audience) word? Standards are declining everywhere.

    Actually, developing on the main topic, what sort of language is suitable when writing for a mass-market audience?
     
  9. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D

    I agree, lol. Daunt [sic] use it, not because it's not understood by mass market fiction audiences, but because it's the wrong word to use in this instance. I wonder if the OP was thinking of jaunt but confused it w/daunt. Jaunt would be hyperbole if used, but it'd make more sense than daunt.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    certainly not 'jaunt'... the comment is actually a taunt, which is a noun, and not a daunt, since the latter is a verb, thus makes no sense as 'her daunt'...

    and that alliteration is overdone to the point of pain, sorry to say... there are other flaws in that excerpt that should be dealt with as well, imo...

    hope this helps some... love and hugs, maia
     
  11. nacht
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    nacht Member

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    Since I obviously can't quote everybody (for the sake of the thread, lol) I'll just quote the last one.

    Love and hugs to you too, Maia, you've helped me a lot since I got here. Alas, here is my reasoning for most of what you brought up.

    It's not 'jaunt'. That's for damned sure, lol. The word could be replaced with taunt, but that's not what I'm trying to get across.
    When Cyn makes her statement, what she is doing is scaring or lowering the courage of the guardsmen.

    Edit: yeah, I noticed something about the paragraph... lol
    "In the face of an athame," athame have faces?
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the problem with your reasoning is that the verb 'daunt' can't be used as a noun, the way you did... and it makes little or no sense to have a person 'daunting' someone else...

    as for the other things i noted:

    from what you say, using 'guffaw' [or possibly even 'cackle'] would be a good way to avoid repeating 'laugh'...

    while 'yet' makes no sense there, 'but' would... another alternative would be neither, just an ellipsis...

    of course 'like liquid' is a simile... but it's an inapt one for 'dancing dagger'... and that's way too much alliteration, unless you want this to sound silly on purpose...

    in re the athame [are you assuming the readers will know what one is?], what you seem to have meant was 'faced with...' or just 'facing' and not 'in the face of'...
     
  13. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm the one who suggested that maybe the OP had meant jaunt. Just to explain, the reason I was thinking "jaunt" is because it'd make more sense--relatively, speaking--than daunt:

    "during her jaunt" -- in this case, jaunt would be the noun instead of a verb as with daunt. Jaunt, if used very awkwardly for the sake of hyperbole, might, I supposed, have been meant in place of daunt.
     
  14. nacht
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    nacht Member

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    Alright, I see your guys' points. lol I fail at rewrites, but the quote wasn't rewritten. 'But' would be better, though since it's her speech and people don't generally speak perfectly (though they may write perfectly), I'll leave it as "yet".
    Remember that she's a witch; She wouldn't be able to attend a school, or attain any sort of proper education, in this setting. She, along with all witches, is being hunted by the government (a "Church of Light", which is actually very symbolic in this book, but that's beside the point.)
    That's what I'm going for when she doesn't speak very well.

    I'll work backwards. Yes, any of those "in the face of" substituteswould work (preferably the first one, "faced with..." -- but I'm going for the undereducated feel. Lastly, I believe(/hope) that readers will either A.) understand what an athame is when I start referring to it as a dagger, or B.) know how to use a dictionary (or the Internet... either will do.) lol
     
  15. m5roberts
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    m5roberts Member

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    "Like liquid, her double-bladed dagger danced delightfully during her daunt."

    What if instead of "daunt" you said something like "dominant display"? It keeps the alliteration and there would be no debate of definition.
     
  16. Ali Shonak
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    Ali Shonak New Member

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    I'll work backwards. Yes, any of those "in the face of" substituteswould work (preferably the first one, "faced with..." -- but I'm going for the undereducated feel. Lastly, I believe(/hope) that readers will either A.) understand what an athame is when I start referring to it as a dagger, or B.) know how to use a dictionary (or the Internet... either will do.) lol[/QUOTE]

    Really, how presumptuous on your part; yeah, sure, there I'm on a plane, your book in hand, and now I ponder this gismo you'd mentioned. How would I know an "athame" from a fiddle stick. My huge Random House is at home, doesn't have a listing of the item to begin with, and I can't google. But I can turn off my light and take a nap.
    A.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And not to take this thread too far off track... and since the basic theme here is word use...

    An athame is a ritual knife and not made out of metal. Bone, stone, horn, but never metal*. There is a different knife in the witches toolkit called the white handled knife which is a knife in the traditional sense and used for the actual act of cutting items like herbs. Don't let shows like Charmed lead you astray. Having been a practicing Wiccan for many years, I can tell you that the athame is rarely even edged. It takes the place of the cliched wand, so unless you reassign the meaning, yeah...

    *You will find all kinds of info on the net concerning athames made of metal, and I guess if there are witches who would use such an athame then so be it, but I would never and I have never met a true witch who would. Pretend gothy witches, maybe. Regardless, even these athames made of metal are dulled and without edge because they are used in the direction of energy, not for swordplay or the chopping of veggies.
     
  18. nacht
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    nacht Member

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    Well, I appreciate the input and attempt, Wreybeys, but that's way off the subject. (I'll PM you about it later, as I myself am a practicing Wiccan.) The second, white-hilted knife you're thinking of is called a bolline or burin.

    At any rate, you're correct that her athame should not be metal, though my own is (I don't have the skill to widdle out or make my own. T-T) Not for the fact that it is traditional, but for the fact that it is more conventional and easy to create.)

    Though, you brought up a damned good point. She's not slicing and dicing at these guardsmen. She's simply waving her dagger around in the air. She's redirecting energies. Using it like a wand. (which is to be mentioned later on.) I suppose since I didn't put that in this excerpt, it was a bit misleading. My mistake.

    Anyway, thanks for the help guys. I changed it.
     
  19. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    "... during her daunting speech." ???
     
  20. nacht
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    nacht Member

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    I like that one. lol
     

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