1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. madhoca

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress

    Grr. Can't decide...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by madhoca, May 22, 2009.

    I can't decide how this should be punctuated. Should I leave it like this:

    - A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth, toothpaste advertisement style.

    Or, should I do this:

    - A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth,
    toothpaste-advertisement style.

    Or should I reword the whole thing?

    P.S. I hate using the word 'like' unless it's absolutely unavoidable. Call me strange...
     
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,952
    Likes Received:
    2,066
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I would go ahead and overcome your bias against like in this case. It would be less awkward. In any case, don't use a hyphen to join toothpaste advertisement.

    I prefer metaphors to similes myself, so I am no great advocate of like. But the simple simile does have a place.
     
  3. arron89

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    It depends on the style of your writing. If toothpaste advertisment style fits in with your writing, I'd use that. Its more memorable and distinctive than like a toothpast ad...but its the kind of thing that would totally ruin a piece of writing if it didn't really belong.....so its a judgement call, i think
     
  4. Aenigma

    Aenigma New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Ontario Ca
    I like this one better then the hyphenated version, the hyphen really isn't nessecary.
     
  5. PS Foster

    PS Foster Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth, much like a smile in a toothpaste ad. That would be my way of writing it.
     
  6. madhoca

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Thanks, people!
     
  7. ManhattanMss

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14
    In your specific example, the hyphen is appropriate (but clutters up the image even further with an unwieldy adjective). Personally, I think you should revisit your hatred of similes. "A dazzling splinter of light [reflected] from [a full set of (its is unnecessary, in any case)] pearly teeth flashed like a toothpaste advertisement" is a whole lot less awkward than what you have (IMO). Otherwise, I'd vote for a rewrite."
     
  8. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The blackhole of the United States
    A dazzling splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth, reminiscent of a toothpaste advertisement.
     
  9. Kittywings

    Kittywings New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Aussie Aussie Aussie!
    Don't forget the possessive "it's"!!!
     
  10. madhoca

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Well, (if you are being serious) the possessive must be 'its', kitty. 'it's' isn't possessive, it means 'it is'.

    I've reworded slightly:

    A splinter of light flashed from its pearly teeth like a toothpaste advertisement.

    I wanted to keep the language fairly simple.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Kittywings

    Kittywings New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Aussie Aussie Aussie!
    Ooops...:(

    Oh well, you don't know if you don't try.
     
  12. madhoca

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Yep...
    "Get to know what it is you don't know as fast as you can": Robert Heller.
     

Share This Page