1. chatte
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    chatte New Member

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    What is wrong with this sentence...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by chatte, Jul 23, 2007.

    'Equally purposive are the movements of a blade of grass when trampled by a heavy foot it slowly straightens up towards the sun.'

    I hate it but have no idea why.. Any help?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Erm...it's a little confusing. What is it trying to say?
     
  3. chatte
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    chatte New Member

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    Its trying to say that not only humans and animals are active in the sense of free purposive movement (as opposite to 'caused', or 'coerced' movement). It's just trying to give an example of a non-animal thing that does that as well..

    It's just the structure of the sentence.. Somehow it doesn't read well, I can't figure out
     
  4. jmitchell1986
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    jmitchell1986 New Member

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    'Equally purposive are the movements of a blade of grass when trampled by a heavy foot it slowly straightens up towards the sun.'

    The grammar seems to be one of themost prominent issues for me. I guess with some considered punctuation it could be more sensical.

    'Equally purposive are the movements of a blade of grass; when trampled by a heavy foot, it slowly straightens up towards the sun.'

    That seems to read better, butwhether or not that is what you were after is unbeknownst!
     
  5. chatte
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    chatte New Member

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    jmitchell1986 thanks, that does read much better, but breakes the sentence into two independent and unconnected parts. Now it says that 'the movements of a blade of grass are equally purposive', and that 'when trampled by a heavy foot, it slowly straightens up towards the sun.'

    Whereas what I am after is 'when trampled grass is slowly straightening up towards the sun, its movements are equally purposive' But I am not sure whether original sentence does say it, and whether it says it right
     
  6. jmitchell1986
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    jmitchell1986 New Member

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    Ah, I see what your'e getting at. It does seem a bit... I dunno, the structure doens't really convey that meaning...

    'Equally purposive are the movements of a blade of grass trampled by a heavy foot, slowly straightening up towards the sun.'

    That sounds a bit more sensical, but again might not purvey what you want!
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "Equally purposive is the slow recovery of a trampled blade of grass, reaching toward the sun."

    Movement is a weak noun, demanding clarification. I'd de-emphasize HOW the grass was crushed down, because the focus of the sentence should be on the recovery. And as others mentioned, the lack of punctuation in the original version also made the sentence flat and a struggle to comprehend.

    "Purporsive" is probably not the adjective I'd have picked, because it's unusual without seeming to express the sentence any better than "purposeful".
    Not a bad word choice, though, just not the one I'd have personally selected.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry to say, it sounds pompous/pretentious to me, along with being grammatically garbled... if you must use that seldom used word that many readers may think a typo, try this:

    'Equally purposive are the movements of a blade of grass when trampled by a heavy foot, as it slowly straightens up towards the sun.'

    or

    'Equally purposive are the movements of a blade of grass when trampled by a heavy foot and then slowly straightening up towards the sun.'
     
  9. Christopher
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    Christopher New Member

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    I truly enjoy the concept behind this line, as you expressed in a different post. I'll now offer my subjective suggestions...

    Some here have already pointed out the significance of specific words. One word will render a sentence perfect or flawed. I'm not feeling the use of "straightens," for example. The alliteration with "slowly" and "sun," makes for a good sound effect, but it does nothing to enhance the philosophy here. If you are trying to imply that the blade of grass has the capacity to reach for something as a living being would, then use this place in your sentence to personify that movement. Also, "purposive," is a word of relativity. Gramatically, you have not related the purposiveness of the grass blade's movement to anything. I've done my best (at the present moment anyway) to wrestle with this line and re-write it with my own suggestions. Surely, you will come up with something fresher and more your own, but this is what I will offer:

    "Equally meaningful are the movements of a grass blade, to the sacred soil, when treaded by a heavy foot it yearns for the sun."

    Good luck with this, it's really a challenge to articulate properly...I think you might find a way to work it into a poem.
     

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