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Thread: Sentence Workshop

  1. #1
    Senior Member pontios's Avatar
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    Sentence Workshop

    I hope I'm not becoming a nuisance (I will limit it to 10 sentences and others are welcome to submit any sentences they are working on).

    (Maybe the hyphen workshop should be deleted: it's relatively easy to google search compound words to determine if they need to be hyphenated or not; sentences are a different matter).

    Here's a sentence I'm working on at the moment (and I welcome any suggestions).

    If the detainees were to stray from these rules, they would be immediately isolated and would incur an appropriate punishment, which would be decided by an adjudicating officer according to the severity of the offence; and they would always be starved during their isolation.

    Instead of " If the detainees were to..", I could write "Should the detainees stray ... " - but then I'm not sure if I'm in the right tense?

    Another possible variation is ...

    If the detainees were to stray from these rules, they would be immediately isolated and would incur an appropriate punishment, as decided by an adjudicating officer in accordance with the severity of the offence; and they would always be starved during their isolation.

    Instead of "as decided", I'm now thinking "as to be decided" or (better still?) "as would be decided" might be the correct tense here?
    Also, "they would immediately be isolated" vs "they would be immediately isolated"? .. but are we splitting infinitives?

  2. #2
    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    Hi. Some of the points you have raised here:

    If the detainees were to stray from these rules
    Should the detainees stray from these rules

    Same thing, same tenses to follow.

    immediately
    as a time adverb:
    they would immediately be isolated
    they would be isolated immediately
    they would be immediately isolated

    with the meaning ‘directly’:
    they would be more immediately affected by the changes

    an appropriate punishment, which would be decided > an appropriate punishment, to be decided
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Αριστεία, ρε!
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

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    Senior Member daeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pontios View Post
    ...
    Also, "they would immediately be isolated" vs "they would be immediately isolated"? .. but are we splitting infinitives?
    On splitting infinitives: Split infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by dharvatis View Post
    Διαβάζοντας αυτό θυμήθηκα ένα σχετικό αστείο του Douglas Adams από το Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy και διαπίστωσα ότι το αναφέρει και η Wikipedia στην ίδια σελίδα
    "In those days men were real men, women were real women, small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before — and thus was the Empire forged."
    Θεωρητικά, θεωρία και πράξη είναι το ίδιο πράγμα. Στην πράξη, όμως, διαφέρουν.
    When this you see, remember me and bear me in your mind, let all the world say what they may, speak of me as you find.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pontios's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys.

    nickel wrote ..
    If the detainees were to stray from these rules
    Should the detainees stray from these rules
    Same thing, same tenses to follow.
    Okay!

    To be or not to pedantically be an infinitive splitter, what is the answer?


    re: "according to the severity of the offence" vs "in accordance with the severity of the offence", I'm going to choose the former.
    "in accordance with an offence" sounds wrong (c.f., say, "in accordance with the rules", which would be fine).

  5. #5
    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    Καλημέρα. You split an infinitive when you separate 'to' from the verb. Where would you be splitting an infinitive in your sentence?

    And, yes, "according to". Otherwise: in proportion to the severity of the offence / in relation to the severity of the offence.
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Αριστεία, ρε!
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pontios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickel View Post
    Where would you be splitting an infinitive in your sentence?
    Hi, nickel.
    Because I haven't really delved into it (or maybe I've forgotten the concept?), I (wrongly) assumed that a split infinitive arises whenever a word is inserted between a verb (e.g., they would immediately be), whereas (I now realise) an example of the construct would be "to boldy go", where the verb is in its infinitive form "to go".

  7. #7
    Senior Member pontios's Avatar
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    There's a pause in the following two sentences, where the flow or cadence is interrupted, which I've indicated with a dash.
    The pause feels longer than a comma. Should I use a semicolon in place of the dash?

    They would spend this special day walking around Oradea, usually in circles of three or four friends, dressed in their uniforms but minus their hats, visiting shops, enjoying meals and drinking in moderation - always behaving in the disciplined manner that was expected of them.


    On his first outing, Yiannos went into a barber shop and came out a different person - with his hair clipped back and tidied up and his beard clean shaven.

  8. #8
    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    Hi. Yes, I like the dash in both cases.

    It is best to use the so-called em dash, i.e. the long one (—). I type it in by pressing Alt and then 0151 in the numeric keypad (while keeping Alt pressed).
    In Word you can also do it by combining Control-Alt-Numeric keypad dash, but as I use it all the time I've programmed two dashes to become an en dash (–) and the en dash plus one more dash to become an em dash.

    In the second sentence, in more formal approaches, you would have the colon in place of the dash (note the added comma, too):
    [He] came out a different person: with his hair clipped back and tidied up, and his beard clean shaven.


    (Drop the 'but' before 'minus': 'dressed in their uniforms minus the hats'. Is it 'hats'?)
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Αριστεία, ρε!
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pontios's Avatar
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    Thank you, nickel.

    I wasn't aware of the longer (em) dash.

    Your additional comma in the second sentence makes sense and, you're right, the "but" is superfluous in the first sentence.

    I might replace hats with visor caps or visor hats?

  10. #10
    Administrator nickel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pontios View Post
    I might replace hats with visor caps or visor hats?
    They could be visor hats / peaked caps, or they could be berets. I think 'peaked caps' is the best bet.
    Μένω ΕυρώπηΣύγκρουση ιδεών, όχι βία και μισαλλοδοξία: δεν οδηγούν πουθενά. (Λ. Κύρκος)Αριστεία, ρε!
    ΕΝΑ ΝΗΜΑ ΤΗΝ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΙΑ ΚΑΝΕΙ ΠΕΡΑ. Staying hungry, staying foolish. Το διαδίκτυο βλάπτει όταν δεν σκέφτεσαι.

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