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  1. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    Need an opinion about two versions of the same text

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Stammis, Jan 28, 2017.

    I can't decide which of the two versions below works better. Any suggestions?

    (I put in the introductory text for context sake. The two versions I can't decide on is further down below)

    The moon shone through the window, revealing many shelves inside the dark room. Only the candle in his hand gleamed in bright orange and yellow, the light moving along the stacks of books on the lower shelf. Some of the books were well used and in tatters, while others were virtually new and easy to recognise. She had a system for organising her books, he knew, but he could never figure it out - not fully. This only made him more curious, feeling as if he was on a grand adventure and explored an old forgotten dungeon. But as the light of the candle fell on a piece of cloth hanging on the wall, the illusion faded, and his mind once again turned to gloom.

    The banner was made of red cloth, with golden thread-work depicting a blood moon eclipsed by a curved blade. He’d seen it everywhere and on everything for as long as he could remember. He had been told to revere it, to take it to heart in whatever he was doing. But instead of it being a symbol of pride that his parents wanted it to be, it had become a symbol of all the things he despised… He was sick of looking at it.

    The candlelight, held high in Fendrael’s hand, made his eyes glistered as he looked, his eyes almost as red as the moon on the banner itself. The red was something that was everywhere too. The colour of power, he had been told. Though, it was a factual statement rather than an observation, for his kind controlled everything and everyone within the boundaries of the Empire. And even though he was part of this “upper layer” of society he felt a distance to it. A society he could not fully understand - a family he never felt fully a part of.

    (version 1)
    Though his parents still surprised him, being locked up in this room as he was. It was an unusual punishment considering the place he was sent to, and usually harsh: all he had done was asking one of the older quests about the strange ornaments hanging from his beard and commenting on his funny accent…

    (Version 2) Lingering on his bitter thoughts, he thought it was a very unusual punishment and that both his parents had been more stingy than usual when they had guests… not that it said much. All he had done was ask an old man about the strange looking ornaments hanging from his beard and commented on his funny accent…
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  2. Danish Anwer

    Danish Anwer New Member

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    While both of the versions are nicely written, I like the the second one more(minus the ellipsis).
     
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Grammatically, the second one works better... "All he had done was asking" doesn't work at all for me. And using "quests" to refer to a person was strange, too, although maybe it would make more sense in context.

    But I don't like the repetition of "thought" in the second version, and I'm not sure what the antecedent is for "it" in "not that it said much".
     
  4. Danish Anwer

    Danish Anwer New Member

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    I think he meant guests, and not quests. It might be a typo mistake.
     
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  5. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    Version 3?
    He looked around the room and then slumped down on a nearby chair. Resentment bubbled up within him. He'd only asked the elderly guest about the strange ornaments hanging from his beard. Did that warrant this harsh punishment? He glanced towards the heavily locked door and wondered at how quickly his parents had swooped in and removed him from the gathering. What was wrong with asking the man about his strange accent?
     
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  6. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    Nicely worded. I ended up removing the section entirely, though.
     
  7. RaitR_Grl

    RaitR_Grl Member

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    I vote for Version 2, but I do have a suggestion. You might want to try something like...

    "Lingering on his bitter thoughts, he thought it was a very unusual punishment, and that both his parents had been more stingy than usual when they had guests, not that it said much. All he did was ask an old man about the strange-looking ornaments hanging from his beard, and comment on his funny accent."

    I don't think you need the ellipses after "when they had guests". All you need is a comma. (Sorry, it's the grammar-freak in me)
    I don't think you need the ellipses after "funny accent" either. Just a period would be enough.
     
  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Hey @Stammis, everybody okay over there with all those horrific terror attacks in Sweden? hahahaha
     
  9. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    All silent on the eastern front.
     
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  10. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Bearing in mind the title of this thread, are you making a point?

    All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues, lit. 'In the West Nothing New') is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I.

    I'm wondering whether you're taking a literal translation of All Quiet on the Western Front into Swedish, and a comparably literal translation back into English, and losing the nuance between Silent and Quiet; or whether you're deliberately making the change?
     
  11. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    I'm aware of the book, and yes, I made a mistake (about the nuance between silent and quiet). The literal translation from Swedish would be, "Western front nothing new"
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  12. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    I google-translated both silent and quiet into Swedish and both returned tyst; translate tyst back and it comes up with silent.

    The difference is that quiet has not much noise, silence is the absence of noise. So, the folk song...

    All things are quite silent, each mortal at rest...

    doesn't work as well if...

    All things are quite quiet...
     
  13. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    Perhaps they mean it first gets quiet and then silent? ;)
     
  14. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    No, this is a scene-setting; at this time of night, it is silent, there is no sound; perhaps the full verse will make more sense.

    All things are quite silent, each mortal at rest,

    When me and my true love lie snug in one nest,

    When a bundle of ruffians burst into our cave,

    And force my dear jewel to plough to salt wave.


    So, you've got the contrast between the silence with the bundle of ruffians bursting in.

    Whereas, if All things are quite quiet... there is an implication that it's only fairly quiet; it could definitely be louder, but it could also be quieter. Quite qualifies quiet to reduce how quiet it is; whereas it qualifies silent to stress just how completely silent it is.

    It was only when typing the above that I realised this folk-song is in present tense; anybody know any other songs in present tense?
     

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