1. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Adverb placement

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by peachalulu, Apr 29, 2014.

    I'm doing a critique ( elsewhere ) and I came across something that felt jarring but I don't know whether or not I should point it out cause I could be totally wrong.

    I've only taken part of the sentence giving me trouble and changed the noun.

    Shouldn't it be verb first - glittered invitingly?

    Or is it more a style choice?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think that it's a style choice and that the usual order was deliberately reversed for effect. I say "usual order", but I don't think that's the only correct order. The reversal is a little jarring, and I'd have to see it in the context of the whole piece to decide whether that's positive or negative.
     
  3. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, it's hard to decide without seeing the whole sentence. Both versions seem clunky to me. I think I'd go for something like: The Gulf of Mexico glittered in the sunlight, inviting (me to do something...)
     
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  4. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Style choice but "glittered invitingly" sounds better to my ear in the example. I would also change the order of the clause.

    "In the sunlight the Gulf of Mexico glittered invitingly." The 'and...' would depend on what followed whether or not it should be a new sentence.

    Don't forget the G is capped as it is part of the name, Gulf of Mexico.
     
  5. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That reminds me of the general rule to end the sentence on the thing you want the reader to focus on. So if the invited part or the glittered part was more important, consider that when deciding on the order of the clauses.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Yep. To me, "invitingly" sort of anthropomorphizes the body of water. In fact, it's just a little bit creepy. :) I could see it in a Douglas Adams book shortly before the spaceship wrecks and vanishes into the water or something. So I guess I'm seeing it as working in a humorous context, but I'm sure that there are other contexts where it could theoretically work.
     
  7. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't want to post the whole sentence here - it's someone else's work. But even as a style choice it's not working. There's too much else that's not working around it.
    I'm thinking the writer doesn't seem all that comfortable with verbs ( there's a lot of was' and to be verbs - everything is stated very matter-of-factly ) And then there seems to be a lot of delay before the verbs. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't stating some rule. Thanks everyone!
     
  8. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's a perfectly acceptable, though perhaps archaic, stylistic choice. It was used by a lot of 19th/early 20th century writers.
     
  9. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    That could be why the writer chose it - to keep in with the old feel of the story. Maybe I'll ignore it and focus on the bigger issues.
     

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