The Idiom Guide

Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Poziga, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I messed up.

    I like your paragraph, it is kind of appealing - though I reckon you might pad out the prose a little bit more, imagining yourself as a wise old man in the narration. Apologies for busybody behaviour, but:

    [blah, blah]...a problem quickly [rapidly] arose. All life just grew, and evolved, nothing died. Planets became overcrowded [with a strangle of base vegetation...visual imagery please]. Survival of the fittest lost its [all] meaning,[ .] It it was now Survival of the numerically superior...[blah blah] A Mass of [dis?]unorganized organisms animated chaos upon the solar system as vines crept through the ionspheres, foul beanstalks united for eternity in a scribble where planets cried molten tears, lava dripped from the sun [bleh bleh]. These, their final sobs that echoed through the quite space, unheralded upon the barren faces of dark asteroids, the new masters, heh heh, bone, throw me a bone, I GO FETCH.

    Sorry, I'm playing editor, it is my fetish. BTW, your usage of animated is most excellent. You have an exciting idea - hence my meddling, it's a good sign.
     
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  2. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    No no, a good thing you edited a bit. I can't wait for the time my English will be on level of native speakers... Your solar system is a bit more crazy than mine though, haha. :D The narrator is Death.
    The thing is, I am writing this completely out of head, when I started I didn't know where I was going. That's why the descriptions are a bit vague, I don't have a complete idea how these planets look like. Right now, I write the first thing that pops up in my head, I'll edit later. I will put one or two pages in the workshop if you're interested in the beginning of May, I'll give you a link. I would be most grateful for a good critique, because this story is for a contest. :)

    Thanks for your opinion about the "animate" use. Problem solved. :)
     
  3. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I was only playing, but I understand it can be offensive...

    ...Pieces that I have had published, not so many, but generally, for me the editing of a short story has taken about a year. Of course, I would like to improve on this statistic and every time I really do think draft three is 'just fine.' But no. I'd be happy to crit your story, good luck.
     
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  4. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    No no, I'm not offended, not one bit. :D
    Great, I'll let you know and thanks. :)
     
  5. lostinbuffalo

    lostinbuffalo New Member

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    Hi all! I have not read The Little Stranger so I might be way off the mark but, to me, the passage sounds as if the story is set perhaps in the late 19th or early 20th century. Therefore, it could be a colloquialism or simply the vernacular of the time period which, then, would have been perfectly acceptable, but now, because of the layman's better command of medical terms, would sound redundant, as several of you mentioned.

    I grew up in Mississippi, the last of six children. Because my parents were in their 40s by the time I came along, all of my relatives--grandparents, aunts & uncles--were already in their 60s & even their 70s. I vividly remember my maternal grandmother's diction whenever she spoke of any matter of "gravity" or of importance. She enunciated her words as if she had been asked to pronounce them all phonetically, particularly during a phone conversation. Someone wasn't just sick, they were "incapacitated (or "laid low") by some manner of an affliction."

    I'm not as keen on the actual mechanics of the English language as I once was, or as I should be if I'm going to pursue writing as I hope to do, but I do feel I have a sense of how English has evolved - for better or for worse - and that sense is developed because of my family.

    Don't know if my tidbit of info helped, but I certainly hope so. Great thread, BTW!!
     
  6. hilal

    hilal Active Member

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    I just love your opening line, whats your sentimental language called.
     
  7. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    Heh, it's Slovene. :D
     
  8. hilal

    hilal Active Member

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    Nice, anything starting with an S is always sensual.
     
  9. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Sewage?
     
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  10. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    Sex? :)

    Back to the topic. Can a divorced man be called a bachelor again? I've read on the internet that the term is used for single nonmarried men, but one of my characters got divorced and became a "player" and also started buying stuff. A typical middle-age crisis. Is there any other term?

    Thank you. :)
     
  11. BrianIff

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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  12. Boger

    Boger Senior Member

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    Let's say you've developed and written a plot that would work in multiple platforms. Film, text, videogame, theater, etc.

    I caught myself wanting to use the word 'format' to describe 'application', but that's not adequate. A format can be a formula for a specific medium, for example, reality tv series or talent shows, are a kind of format for tv. If you'd have a format that would additionally be a fun videogame, what would you call the multiple possible ways to implement this format or idea?

    I'm going with application but still this doesn't imply that it is an intellectual medium, necessarily. An application can also be nail polish.
     
  13. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    @Poziga

    Bachelor is a euphemism, maybe most of the time - for an older gay man.

    The old-fashioned, and popular expression is a 'confirmed bachelor.' Brits would envisage pop star Cliff Richard, for example [the UK's Jonny Halliday, like a 'not Elvis' kind of chap.]

    So a newspaper might, and will write about a murder situation:

    Bachelor hairdresser Michael Grant was found dead blah blah - and the reader draws supposition from inference..

    I hope I explained clearly, somebody else can help.
     
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  14. Seraph751

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole... Contributor

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    Yes, it strained cough sounds more serious than cough.
    "A cough came from the master bedroom."
    Maybe your throat tickled or you drank water the wrong way or you have a slight cold.
    "A strained cough came from the master bedroom." Seem's more along the lines of something in the lungs and whoever is sick is quite ill.

    Hope that helped and I love your idea by the way!
     
  15. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    Hey, me again, with rather single question I think. :)

    He was wilder than usual vs. he was wilder than usually.

    I have a feeling both are correct. Can anyone explain me what's the case with this. If I'm wrong, even better. :)

    Thank you. :)
     
  16. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The first is correct as is. "Usual" there functions as a noun indicating the way he typically conducts himself.

    "Usually" is an adverb that needs something to modify. So you could say, "He was wilder than he usually was."
     
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  17. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    Thank you. A short answer and to the point. :D
     
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  18. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm looking for an idiom that is the opposite of crying wolf.

    I tried, hear no evil, but that had multiple meanings and wasn't quite right. The same with, turning a blind eye, both describe knowing something's bad but ignoring it.

    What I'm going for is more precisely, ignoring danger by denying it exists.

    It's a common story line but I'm having a hard time finding an idiom that fits specifically with this flavor of denial.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  19. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    "Burying one's head in the sand"? (Referring to what ostriches supposedly do in the face of danger.)
     
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  20. Boger

    Boger Senior Member

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    What do you call a hallway in a ship? When you step out the cabin?

    [​IMG]

    Also, is there a name for this plank-walk thing?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  21. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Blank it out? @GingerCoffee – though I think the head burying's better.

    A passageway? @Boger

    Also; when a death row guy goes to his execution... that's called a long walk—I figure it could apply to a plank walker as it's a similar scenario (well I suppose there's a long swim after that too).
     
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  22. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    According to this site here, the interior hall is called a passageway, as @SethLoki said.

    And the ramp to board the ship is a gangway.
     
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  23. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I thought of that one but it didn't fit in the sentence structure so I revised the sentence altogether.
     
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  24. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

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    Hey, need help again.

    I'm quite good at english but I'm still not sure for some details.

    is "had been" a progressive verb or simple? The whole sentence and the next example: All had been broken and plundered; but beside the shattered lid of one there lay the remains of a book. It had been slashed and stabbed and partly burned...

    We have an assignment for school where we have to mark all verbs in an excerpt and sort them according to their aspectuality; progressive, simple.

    My gut tells me progressive, but I want to be sure.

    Thank you. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  25. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    YOU: All had been broken and plundered; but beside the shattered lid of one there lay the remains of a book. It had been slashed and stabbed and partly burned...

    ME: Everything had been broken [destroyed], but aside the shattered lid of one [dustbin?] lay the remains of a book. Slashed, stabbed, and partly burned, the book...

    ...

    I'm English so I can't remember the progressive verb or simple fundamentals: the terms, you need a teacher, I'm sorry about that.

    But - narrating your example - if, when writing, I open a paragraph with a single 'had' I will try not to use 'had' a second time - a great fail in my opinion.

    Also, note the speed of the eye, and with your understanding of language [and the mind] see how prepositions, & passive verb(?) repetition can disappear in draft...
     
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