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Hello, sitting on the stair...

Post 1


Hi, I'm GTBacchus. smiley - smiley As you may already know, I'm with the Underguide, and I'm the Gem Polisher in charge of preparing your entry 'Touching Out There' for the Front Page. I have a working copy of it at A5962061.

Having read it a few times, and looked at it from different angles and in different lighting, there's really not any editing that I can see I need to do. Your punctuation and sentence construction aren't entirely The Queen's Enlish, but I get the impression you know how to write, and are acting intentionally, so I've elected to leave sentence fragments and run-ons alone. (If you'd prefer I edit more heavy-handedly, I guess I can...)

The only semicolon that bothers me is in the sentence: "They left, leaving out there; the scavengers, the plains, the sun and the wind, to take back their own."

I feel like a clarifying list is being introduced, which usually says 'use a colon' to me, but then it's followed by another verb, making the whole list a sort of long appositive with internal commas, which says to me 'use em dashes', but then the sentence might stand out from the rest of the piece, where you're pretty liberal with semicolons throughout, and none of the others bothers me.

Overall, I think your style makes for good reading, and don't want to change anything - I just thought I'd run that one sentence by you. If you don't think it seems at all off, then we'll go ahead with sending the entry up to the Towers for the final stamp of approval. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for the great entry!

smiley - cheers

Hello, sitting on the stair...

Post 2

Sitting on the stair

Hi GTB, I'm glad you picked out that sentence. It used to bother me. But I must have got used to it and forgotten about it or I'd have asked on the AWW thread.

Now I look at it, I'm not sure how to fix it. The scavengers, the plains, the sun and the wind are part of out there, but not all of it. How to punctuate it without implying they are all of it or all additional to it? The former is preferable of the two, so, using dashes it would be 'They left, leaving out there - the scavengers, the plains, the sun and the wind - to take back its own.'?

Or a rewrite, 'They left, leaving out there, its scavengers, plains, sun and wind, to take back its own.' I think again I prefer the former, with the dashes. I don't think it would stand out like that, there is a dash earlier in the first section, all on its own, that could probably do with company.

So, I'll go for the dashes.

My knowledge of the Queen's English is scrappy and pretty basic, so while the phrasing is intentional in terms of sound or pace or whatever, it would be wrong to say I always know when I'm breaking the Queen's rules.

smiley - erm I was liberal with ;s. I used them where I thought they gave more emphasis or separation than a comma would, but didn't want the extra words needed to make another sentence. I don't think using them for that purpose is in the Queen's rules.

If that sentence is the only one that bothers you, that's great because I would prefer to leave anything that doesn't break the rules unforgiveably.

Thanks GTB, that was helpful, and I've added "clarifying list => : " to the databank smiley - smiley. That was a clarifying way of putting it.

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