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Ambergold
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem with this sentence. Should this be:


So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion. Her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.

OR

So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion – her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.



Thank you.

maestrowork
01-11-2007, 04:56 AM
She did what she normally would whenever she felt anxious or nervous -- she found a diversion: her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

Del
01-11-2007, 05:01 AM
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous. She found a diversion; her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

ErylRavenwell
01-11-2007, 05:01 AM
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous: she found a diversion: her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

You can substitute the first colon by a semi-colon or a period. But I prefer a colon, since it introduces. (Yes, two colons, one after the other, is correct :))

or
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous: she found a diversion—her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

Dash to add an incomplete clause and putting emphasis on it as well.


Try to avoid comma splice by learning what an independent clause is. Ok.

Shwebb
01-11-2007, 05:03 AM
Instead of saying "she dipped her head" you might consider "she looked down and stared at her feet."

When I first read "she dipped her head" it made me think of apple-bobbing. Like she dipped her head into something.

ErylRavenwell
01-11-2007, 05:09 AM
Instead of saying "she dipped her head" you might consider "she looked down and stared at her feet."

When I first read "she dipped her head" it made me think of apple-bobbing. Like she dipped her head into something.

In point of fact, "She stared down at her feet" is 'nugh. Good point, though.

maestrowork
01-11-2007, 05:10 AM
I kinda woulda avoid two consecutive colons, even if that's correct.

ErylRavenwell
01-11-2007, 05:21 AM
I kinda woulda avoid two consecutive colons, even if that's correct.

Reason(s)? It does look awkward, and I suppose it wouldn't just make sense to many readers. But, it has its merit: it reads faster and feel like popping thoughts.

jbal
01-11-2007, 05:23 AM
So she dipped her head to stare at her feet, a nervous habit.

Or some such. Whole sentence bears rewriting is my point.

ErylRavenwell
01-11-2007, 05:29 AM
So she dipped her head to stare at her feet, a nervous habit.

Or some such. Whole sentence bears rewriting is my point.

I think it's arrogant. No hard feeling and don't take it the wrong way. Each, his/her style. I despise conformity.

Silver King
01-11-2007, 05:45 AM
She did what she normally would when she felt nervous; she found a diversion, this time her feet, and stared at her toes.

Jamesaritchie
01-11-2007, 04:21 PM
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous: she found a diversion: her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

You can substitute the first colon by a semi-colon or a period. But I prefer a colon, since it introduces. (Yes, two colons, one after the other, is correct :))

or
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous: she found a diversion—her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

Dash to add an incomplete clause and putting emphasis on it as well.


Try to avoid comma splice by learning what an independent clause is. Ok.

That's pretty bad. Neither colon should really be there, and two makes teh sentence unreadable.

pink lily
01-11-2007, 04:46 PM
Of all the suggestions in this thread, I found maestrowork's to be the most readable.


She did what she normally would whenever she felt anxious or nervous -- she found a diversion: her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

Ambergold
01-11-2007, 11:29 PM
Thank you all for taking the time to offer me advice. That’s one of the things I love about this forum, people are always willing to give help when needed. I completely agree Erylravenwell, writing is about expression and what’s good for one might not be suitable for another but that’s what makes life interesting. So apart from the grammar, I don’t intend to change the sentence but thank you Jbal for your input.

Bartholomew
01-12-2007, 01:29 AM
I'd consider a new way of expressing the thought all together.

Ambergold
01-12-2007, 01:36 AM
Okay Bartholomew, like I said before I'm not changing the sentence. My question was about the grammar, but thanks anyway.

Judg
01-12-2007, 03:00 AM
Actually, your question was about punctuation, not grammar...

*ducks*

ErylRavenwell
01-12-2007, 03:10 AM
That's pretty bad. Neither colon should really be there, and two makes teh sentence unreadable.



Yea, Genius, tell us the reasons why it's bad.

A colon can be used to separate two clauses when one clause introduces another in a logical sequence of events (Longman).

"two makes teh sentence", which sentence is that, mate?

Silver King
01-12-2007, 03:16 AM
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion. Her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.

OR

So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion – her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.


I'm not changing the sentence.
You should. Besides punctuation, there seems to be unnecessary repetition for such a short passage. And there's something about "dipped her head" that doesn't work in this instance, at least for me.

Julie Worth
01-12-2007, 03:33 AM
The sentence is wordy. Unless you're going to have her finding other diversions, simplify:

So she did what she always did whenever she felt anxious: she stared at her feet.

jbal
01-12-2007, 03:52 AM
You should. Besides punctuation, there seems to be unnecessary repetition for such a short passage. And there's something about "dipped her head" that doesn't work in this instance, at least for me.
I agree 100%. That was the first thing that struck me, the repetition of words in close proximity. the sentence is awkward, and bulkier than it needs to be. Any way to shorten it would probably be an improvement.

Jamesaritchie
01-12-2007, 03:58 AM
Yea, Genius, tell us the reasons why it's bad.

A colon can be used to separate two clauses when one clause introduces another in a logical sequence of events (Longman).

"two makes teh sentence", which sentence is that, mate?

If you read it, and still don't know why it's bad, my telling you isn't going to help. If you can even look at it and not know why it's bad, it's a hopeless case. A colon can be used for a lot of things, but God help us if any editor ever lets that sentence trhough with two colons.

Julie Worth
01-12-2007, 04:01 AM
God help us if any editor ever lets that sentence trhough with two colons.

Worlds collide! Kings are beheaded! Hurry with that colonostomy!

Ambergold
01-12-2007, 04:14 AM
Okay, well I will look at the sentence again. Maybe I'll change it, maybe I won't. Either way its refreshing to see other peoples view points, whether I agree or not. Man, everyones a critic! :-)

Jamesaritchie
01-12-2007, 04:15 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem with this sentence. Should this be:


So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion. Her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.

OR

So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion – her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.



Thank you.

This isn't a horrible sentence, and there's nothing at all wrong with repitition when done correctly. It is, in fact, a valuable tool. You might avoid a bit of repitition simply by changing the first "she" to the woman's name. "Janice did what she always did when she felt anxious or nervous (Here the correct punctuation depends entirely on the effect you wish to achieve. It can be a dash, a semi-colon, or even a comma.) she found a diversion. Her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

But whatever you do, avoid letting the punctuation draw attention to itself. Readers are not supposed to see the punctuation, only the effect the punctuation creates.

The sentence certainly isn't too long.

But don't avoid a rewrite just because you've fallen in love with a sentence. Look at it fifteen ways, and then decide which is best.

Jamesaritchie
01-12-2007, 04:16 AM
Worlds collide! Kings are beheaded! Hurry with that colonostomy!\

As usual, I don't even know what this means.

Ambergold
01-12-2007, 04:32 AM
Some valuable advice James, and the way you've explained it has made it much more palatable for me. I agree, perhaps I need to change the 'she' to the name of the character to avoid too much repetition. You were also right about me falling in love with the sentence, but I’ve nothing against constructive criticism.

ErylRavenwell
01-12-2007, 05:12 AM
If you read it, and still don't know why it's bad, my telling you isn't going to help. If you can even look at it and not know why it's bad, it's a hopeless case. A colon can be used for a lot of things, but God help us if any editor ever lets that sentence trhough with two colons.

Right. So I'm a complete, total idiot, who really wouldn't be able to grasp your explanation. Try "repetition" next time, it works better than "repitition". See, I'm still smart enough to catch that. :)

Silver King
01-12-2007, 05:27 AM
Right. So I'm a complete, total idiot, who really wouldn't be able to grasp your explanation. Try "repetition" next time, it works better than "repitition". See, I'm still smart enough to catch that. :)
Eryl, I think you're reading too much into certain posts. If you have a head of steam to let off, you may try visiting other forums in our community that embrace anger and obtuse discourse.

As you can see, or should, the Grammar forum requires a more refined approach to the workings of language, lest anyone be insulted.

I'm sure you understand...

Judg
01-12-2007, 06:03 AM
The sentence is wordy. Unless you're going to have her finding other diversions, simplify:

So she did what she always did whenever she felt anxious: she stared at her feet.Well, no. Not with a colon. A colon is not used to join two complete sentences. That would be a semicolon you're looking for.

So she did what she always did whenever she felt anxious; she stared at her feet.

That was a colonectomy followed by a semicolon implant. Is there a surgeon smiley on this board?

Silver King
01-12-2007, 06:18 AM
A colon is not used to join two complete sentences.
Yes it does.:)

From Strunk and White:

Join two independent clauses with a colon if the second interprets or amplifies the first.

ErylRavenwell
01-12-2007, 06:25 AM
Well, no. Not with a colon. A colon is not used to join two complete sentences. That would be a semicolon you're looking for.



Where do you get that?
A colon is a full stop and more...


The colon is used to indicate that what follows it is an explanation or elaboration of what precedes it. That is, having introduced some topic in more general terms, you can use a colon and go on to explain that same topic in more specific terms. Schematically:
More general: more specific A colon is nearly always preceded by a complete sentence; what follows the colon may or may not be a complete sentence, and it may be a mere list or even a single word. A colon is not normally followed by a capital letter (http://www.informatics.susx.ac.uk/doc/punctuation/node27.html) in British usage, though American usage often prefers to use a capital. Here are some examples

ErylRavenwell
01-12-2007, 06:31 AM
Eryl, I think you're reading too much into certain posts. If you have a head of steam to let off, you may try visiting other forums in our community that embrace anger and obtuse discourse.

As you can see, or should, the Grammar forum requires a more refined approach to the workings of language, lest anyone be insulted.

I'm sure you understand...

Sure do.

ErylRavenwell
01-12-2007, 06:35 AM
Yes it does.:)

From Strunk and White:

Join two independent clauses with a colon if the second interprets or amplifies the first.

I think he may have meant two unrelated complete sentences. Which is still wrong, since Julie's solution seems correct.

Bartholomew
01-12-2007, 08:17 AM
Ok, this thread got way out of control. Keep it civil.

And, OP. When you ask for opinions, you must be prepared to accept them amiably. Just because you do not agree does not mean there is cause for arguement. Discussion, yes. Bickering, no.

Silver King
01-12-2007, 08:35 AM
Ok, this thread got way out of control.
Where?


When you ask for opinions, you must be prepared to accept them amiably.
Who hasn't?


Just because you do not agree does not mean there is cause for arguement. Discussion, yes. Bickering, no.

Come again?

jbal
01-12-2007, 08:57 AM
Ok, this thread got way out of control. Keep it civil.

And, OP. When you ask for opinions, you must be prepared to accept them amiably. Just because you do not agree does not mean there is cause for arguement. Discussion, yes. Bickering, no.
Bart, the original poster has been nothing but courteous.

Shades of Humanity
01-12-2007, 08:59 AM
Where?


Who hasn't?


Come again?


http://www.yhandros.com/imagenes/peter.jpg

I'd say "come again?" Then I'd laugh because I said "come."

Bartholomew
01-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Where?


Who hasn't?


Come again?

It must be all in my head.

But the edits at the bottom of a number of posts suggest otherwise.

So, uh, ignore me. :)


Bart, the original poster has been nothing but courteous.

The... thread looks different now. Have I gone insane?

Yeah. Just ignore me.

jbal
01-12-2007, 10:34 AM
None of the edits has occurred since your last post. I did get called arrogant though; that really happened. And I was just trying to help.

Bartholomew
01-12-2007, 11:59 PM
None of the edits has occurred since your last post. I did get called arrogant though; that really happened. And I was just trying to help.

Well, uhhh, stop being so darn arrogant. Big stinkin' arrogrant-pant-head.

*Flees*

Judg
01-13-2007, 01:45 AM
Yes it does.:)

From Strunk and White:

Join two independent clauses with a colon if the second interprets or amplifies the first.*sniff* My omniscience has been questioned. And my memory normally serves me so well...

Maybe if I dig a bit, I could find a conflicting authority. Until then, I cede the point. ;)

ErylRavenwell
01-15-2007, 03:36 AM
None of the edits has occurred since your last post. I did get called arrogant though; that really happened. And I was just trying to help.

I don't know what took me. Apology. But I didn't say you were arrogant, I said, "I think it's arrogant." Take it easy.

What I meant really was, I don't think you can teach someone style, prose, sentence structure etc in one thread (Grammar and vocabulary are almost mathematical and less abstract, so they can be easily taught). Writing (which goes hand-in-hand with reading) is a skill that needs nurturing over time. She'll find out by herself. :)

Ambergold
01-15-2007, 05:39 PM
What I meant really was, I don't think you can teach someone style, prose, sentence structure etc in one thread (Grammar and vocabulary are almost mathematical and less abstract, so they can be easily taught). Writing (which goes hand-in-hand with reading) is a skill that needs nurturing over time. She'll find out by herself.



When you put it that way Ravenwell, I think I prefer Jbal’s more honest comment. Instead of allowing me to believe that you were in support of different styles of writing, I wish you had stated the above in the first place (which I actually find slightly patronising). I come here for the honesty of forum members, whether the advice is taken or not. I would not take the trouble to post if that weren’t the case. I guess in future you should say what you mean and mean what you say.

ErylRavenwell
01-17-2007, 02:46 AM
When you put it that way Ravenwell, I think I prefer Jbal’s more honest comment. Instead of allowing me to believe that you were in support of different styles of writing, I wish you had stated the above in the first place (which I actually find slightly patronising). I come here for the honesty of forum members, whether the advice is taken or not. I would not take the trouble to post if that weren’t the case.

Let's not assume too much. I do support different styles of writing and despise conformity. And my dear, your writing is not perfect, neither is mine. Writing always needs daily nurturing. It is a skill that is certainly not innate, but one you acquire through a learning process. But you must be given the freedom to develop your own style; the reason why I hate when people try to rewrite other's sentences.

That said, you are right in your criticism. But, I don't always pay attention to the minutiae of my posts. I'm rather reckless and chaotic at time. At time a young raving lunatic. ;)

Just take it easy. These are just opinions. Try your best and don't give up. That's what matters in the end. :)


I guess in future you should say what you mean and mean what you say.

I never mean what I say. It's only human ;) It's like someone asking you, "How are you today?"

Nine times out of ten, you'd reflexively answer, "I'm fine," or something on that line.

But really, this is just a pathetic, boring day. The usual. The routine. I really need to disguise my dark thoughts. Society oblige.

Arkie
01-17-2007, 05:19 PM
"She stared at her feet, a nervous tic." Hemingway.

moon&stars
01-23-2007, 02:27 AM
So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous...she found a diversion. She stared at her feet, dipped her head, stared at her feet again.

BrainAdamage
02-23-2007, 06:58 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem with this sentence. Should this be:


So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion. Her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.

OR

So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion – her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.

Thank you.

So, she did what she normally did, whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion; her feet. She dipped her head and stared at her feet.

Didn't read through everyone's suggestions. Therefore, please forgive me if I've doubled up on anyone else's.

Also, I always find it amusing when people tell the op -- who stated the criteria for her feedback upfront -- to, merely, reword the whole thing. I say, to people with this type of mindset, off with your heads.

My 2 cents. Okay, maybe that was more like 3 cents. :-)

Silver King
02-23-2007, 07:47 AM
Didn't read through everyone's suggestions. Therefore, please forgive me if I've doubled up on anyone else's.
You're forgiven. But keep in mind that studying a thread before responding, especially a short one like this, won't leave you wondering what you've missed.

Kentuk
02-23-2007, 08:24 AM
I'm having a bit of a problem with this sentence. Should this be:


So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion. Her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.

OR

So she did what she normally did whenever she felt anxious or nervous, she found a diversion – her feet, she dipped her head and stared at her feet.



Thank you.

Number two, the dash works. Also like the dipped head. I'm not quite sure what I saw but it must have been showing and not telling. Question is this 'normal behavior ' or 'too frequent' or 'since' she moved.