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  1. Apollypopping

    Apollypopping Member

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    This sentence is giving me a tension headache

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Apollypopping, Apr 13, 2017.

    I want to keep it, but I cant work out how to make it readable. At the same time, maybe I've just been staring at it too long. Another set of eyes would be so appreciated. Does it make sense and if not, help?




    I told myself I might as well. It would take me ten minutes to queue up, go inside, stand there, not be swept away by the ocean and go back the hotel for a hot coffee and an argument.
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Maybe...

    I could queue up, go inside, stand there without being swept away by the ocean and then go back to the hotel for a hot coffee and an argument, all in ten minutes.
     
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  3. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    It makes sense but I do think it's a bit clunky. Two suggestions: 1) see what can you cut out, given context, and 2) get rid of the 'not' in the list part because it disrupts the flow.

    I'd rewrite it as "It would take ten minutes to get inside, avoid being swept away by the ocean, and go back to the hotel for hot coffee and an argument".

    edit: Second thought, wait - is getting back to the hotel part of the ten minutes or no? If not I'd change it a bit more for clarity.
     
  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Are you standing somewhere in a queue that's near the ocean or are you inside? Is the coffe at the end of the queue? I can't follow it...
     
  5. Apollypopping

    Apollypopping Member

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    The sentences before and after it explain where she is and why, it's more about the clunky flow it has.
     
  6. Apollypopping

    Apollypopping Member

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    That definitely gives me a much better starting point thanks :)

    See that's how long I've been staring at it. I didn't even register that issue. Thank you.
     
  7. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Having queued up, gone inside, stood there and not been swept away by the ocean, I could be back at the hotel for hot coffee and hotter(?) argument within ten minutes.
     
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  8. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind I have a bit of a different style. Anyway.. thanks! It was fun playing around with it :)

    Might as well. Ten minutes only to get it all done: Queue up, go inside, withstand the ocean, and then arrive back at the hotel in time for a hot coffee and an argument.
     
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  9. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Active Member

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    You could try a massage, or acupuncture. As to the sentence, I'd probably have it:

    Might as well. Ten minutes to queue up, go inside and stand there trying not to be swept away by the ocean. Then back to the hotel for hot coffee and a cold shoulder.
     
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  10. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    It's not that bad as is--I would just move one of the commas and make one of the phrases active voice, perhaps like so:

    Yeah, I think the biggest problem is that the "not be swept away" bit is passive voice while all the other phrases in that series are active voice.
     
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  11. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    'I might as well,' I told myself.

    It would after all only take me ten minutes to go inside, queue, stand there, not be sweeped away by the ocean (I know, I know, but it was beach side, anything could happen - I told myself, once again.) and return to the hotel for a hot coffee and an argument.
     
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  12. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    For what it's worth,

    I don't have a problem with the sentence as you have it originally. It's winded, but as long as you have some variance in length, it should be just fine.

    The sentence is certainly not obnoxious.
     
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  13. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    I felt like it was a wee bit clunky and took a whack at it and I hope that's okay!

    "I might as well. It would only take ten minutes. Queue up, go inside, stand there; try my best not to be swept away by the ocean. Lumber back to the hotel afterwards for a hot coffee and an argument. It wouldn't be so bad, I told myself."
     
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  14. Apollypopping

    Apollypopping Member

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    I'd love a massage.

    I love this, thank you.

    Thank you! I do get obnoxious sometimes.
     
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  15. socialleper

    socialleper Member

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    For me personally, the problem is I can't figure out how all of the actions are connected. How could being swept away by the ocean possibly happen here? Also, how can you get in line for something (which is a stationary action) while at the same time go somewhere? If they are going to the hotel after they stand in line, you should break that into another sentence.
     
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