1. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Which is better?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by architectus, Oct 30, 2009.

    Which do you think are better?

    Personally, I think the middle is best, but at times, examples like the bottom one are best.

    I think the last one in this example is a bit confusing, and the middle is best.

    I think the last one works well here.
    Often, like in this example, I find the participle works best.

    What do you think?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    With your first example, the middle one makes no sense. The sentence would read "Though he stood his ground." if you removed that modifying phrase, which would make no sense...although if you removed the comma after though, it would make the best example...

    The second example, the middle one is the best.

    With your last two, I don't even understand why you offer alternatives to the second examples....no one would ever use them (I would hope)......they're completely unwieldy and counter-intuitive.
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    The comma wasn't supposed to be in the first exampls. As for the last two examples, authors do start sentences with participle phrases.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first is too wordy
    second is ok, if you want to make the point that he's brave
    third is ok, if bravery doesn't need to be emphasized and brevity is desired

    starting out with 'while' or 'as' is next to never a good idea, so first two are n/g, imo...
    third example is a mess due to needlessly out of order clauses...

    only good way to do this is: 'He fell, while walking on the ice.'

    first is just gawdawfully wordy and also 'out of order'...
    second is ok, but what do you have against simple, straightforward, sentence structure?
    or,
    if you must mix up your clauses, what's wrong with the simpler: 'Terrified, he screamed.'


    first is again too wordy and in reverse order
    second is ok
     
  5. dgraham
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    dgraham Senior Member

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    Maia, I'm not sure what you mean by "out of order"? I don't think he has anything against a "straightforward" sentence, I think he was just trying to practice using other structures.

    I do agree that in most isolated cases like these, they mostly seem unwieldy, and many are always unwieldy (I basically agree with Maia). However, almost anything can be used in the proper context. I know that "in proper context" is a rather big caveat...

    So, to give some context to one example...

    I don't see anything wrong with writing this in principle. I know it's not an amazing piece of writing, but I wouldn't say it's particularly terrible either.
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I realy begin a sentence with a participle, but sometimes it works well.

    Maia, you are correct about "Terrified, she screamed."

    However, with the last one, I think it's in the correct order. "When he heard this, he advanced."

    He would hear first, then he would advance. Say his captain said, "Step forward." When he heard this, he advanced.

    But if it were:

    His captain said, "Step foward."
    He advanced when he heard this.

    Then am I not writing what he did out of order? Here we read that he advances before we read that he heard the captain, but in reality, he heard the captain first.

    Perhaps it ought to be, "After hearing this, he advanced.
    or
    "When hearing this, he advanced."
    "Upon hearing this, he advanced."
    "He heard this then advanced."
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    What about these examples from Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz?

    Should it be: I did not hear the sea when I put the shell to my ear.

    Personally, I would have written something like:

    Upon putting the shell to my ear, I didn't hear the sea.
    I put the shell to my ear and didn't hear the sea.
    When putting the shell to my ear, I didn't hear the sea.

    Should it be: He braked the coasting Pontiac to a stop when he reached the house opposte me.

    I think wording them in this order adds confusion because we are reading what happened out of order. He reached the house before stopping the Pontiac. So I want to read that he reached the house before I read he braked.

    He reached the house opposite me then braked the coasting Pontiac to a stop.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can second guess anyone else's writing, but there are no hard and fast rules, so as long as it's grammatical, it only comes down to a case of what works well and what doesn't...

    or, if more than one way can work, of what the writer wants... it's not worth debating, or arguing over, imo...
     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    That's what I'm trying to figure out. What works and doesn't work for people.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ok... here's what i think 'works':



     

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