1. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Which is correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by eden baylee, Nov 7, 2010.

    Can someone give me an explanation as to how I can figure this out for myself in the future? Though the second one sounds odd, I believe it to be right, but I am not sure.Thanks

    Emma thought Jessica almost sounded more disappointed than she was.

    Emma thought Jessica almost sounded more disappointed than she did.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that both are correct and both are ambiguous.

    The first one could mean that Jessica was less disappointed than she sounded, or it could mean that Jessica and Emma were both disappointed, but Jessica sounded the most (or "almost" the most) disappointed

    The second one seems to more clearly have the second meaning, except that taken literally, it would mean that Jessica sounded more disappointed than Emma sounded, rather than more disappointed than Emma was.

    I'm not quite sure how to rephrase it to eliminate the ambiguity. My first try is:

    "Judging from Jessica's tone, Emma thought that Jessica's disappointment was almost greater than her own."

    But I don't like this much. I'd probably look at the text surrounding it and create a very different sentence.

    ChickenFreak
     
  3. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Hi, Chickenfreak,
    You're right about the ambiguity. The meaning I want to get across is
    that Jessica and Emma were both disappointed, but that Jessica sounded even more disappoined than Emma.
    I like your attempt at changing it, but agree that it's awkward with "Jessica" mentioned twice in one sentnece.

    Would this be clearer? I need to keep it from Emma's POV.

    It almost seemed to Emma that Jessica was even more disappointed than she was.

    It almost seemed to Emma that Jessica was even more disappointed than she, herself, was. (I'm grasping here as I think this sounds terrible)

    Judging from Jessica's tone, it almost seemed to Emma, that her friend was even more disappointed than she was.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this could mean either that:
    jessica almost sounded more disappointed than jessica actually was
    or
    that she almost sound more disappointed than emma was

    it's a poorly worded sentence for that reason...

    this can only mean that jessica almost sounded more disappointed than emma sounded...
    and is also a poorly worded sentence...

    'almost' is a problem in both, since it should really follow 'sounded' instead of preceding it, since one can't 'almost' sound, one either does sound or doesn't... the qualifier relates to what the person is sounding like...

    better/clearer wording would be:

    or, if it means not as disappointed as emma:
    Emma thought Jessica sounded almost more disappointed than Emma was, herself.
     
  5. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Emma was disappointed enough, but she thought that Jessica seemed even more disappointed."

    Maybe.

    Or maybe find a way to show rather than tell?
     
  6. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Thanks digi and mamma, I think I'm going to go with digi's advice to show this via a conversation.
    It sounds awkward to me no matter how it's written.
    Appreciate your thoughts on this.
     

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