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  1. #1
    licinio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Edit and correct

    I have written the following article, that I would like to submit for you to point out things I should improve. Thanks.

    My grandfather built a low-rise block of flats in the early 1960's, soon after arriving to Bergamo from Milan. He wanted to invest money from his own leather handbag firm he'd set up in partnership with his brother and launched in a building project with the help of my father, a construction engineer. After the first building was completed, the scheme came to a grinding halt owing to the concil's scheme for developing social housing in the neighbourhood. Part of the land was expropriated and the other planned buildings never saw the light. Instead of selling the first one, my grandfather kept it as an asset. The flats were soon rented and now, of these historical tenants that moved in in the '60's only a few remain, as some have died and others moved out. But Mr. M. is still a tenant.

    Today I had to collect the quarterly rent, because my mother was away. Mr. M. called on me at half past nine, accompanied by his wife. Both in their eighties now, they consider themselves to be the sole wardens of the house, the legitimate keepers of the order, who can stigmatise the new tenants' carrings-on when they go as far as to park a car in the yard, or to leave a bag unattended in the stairs. But he watches and reports, feeling he's offering his due service of ever lasting allegiance that was sealed at the fatidic signing of the lease contract, nearly 50 years ago.

    These quarterly visits run according to a set cerimonial, because Mr. M. not only comes with the rent, but invariably brings a token which mainly consists of a packaged cake and a bottle of wine. I I have a vague childhood memory of him bringing my brother and me a present, that later changed into a money gift. There's no way of telling him he shouldn't take the trouble, because to him this is as much of a duty as paying the rent.

    He's such a character! Ceremoniously marking the class difference that he feels so acutely and likes to be subject to, he calls me by prefixing my given name by the title of Mr. I feel slightly uneasy from my more equalitarian stance, but I must accept him as he is. He enjoys paying hommage to his landlord and feel respected by him as the perfect tenant. Therefore I had to play the game and behave according to script, which provides for me to pay compliments to his good health and, of course, appreciate his long-standing reliability.

    To prove it even with facts, Mr M. suddenly opens his wallet and after warning me not to be moved, shows me a passport-size photo of my father (who passed away nearly 10 years ago). He's convinced he brings him good luck.

    I offered to make some coffee, but he said I shouldn't trouble to mess up the machine… however, if I poured him some vermouth, for instance, I shouldn't have any problem at all!

    It is Mr M. that leads the conversation, complaining vehemently of the bad news, politicians in general and the state of the country, and the picture that emerges from his outlook is of a hopeless place that has nothing good left to give its citizens, if not an excellent topic for grumbling. Whenever his wife shyly attempts to intervene, he abruptly imparts a curt command of "You shut up!" and she obediently takes back her word and keeps silent.

    But today something graver happened which made his subdued wife feel quite bad. The money they brought was slightly less than sum due, because of the incidence of heating expenses at the close of winter. In spite of my desperate attempt to make them feel comfortable and defer the balance payment, he felt pricked in his pride and found no other scapegoat than the poor woman, that was soon easily blamed for passing him the wrong information.

    He said she should leave him the role of being the head of the family, as it ought to be! At which she weakly tried to defend herself by ironically repeating: "Well why, who should be to blame, if not me?". But this self-pitying reaction made him all the more powerful and in need of someone to thust the blame on, so he repeated several times that it was just through her fault.

    In front of her he justified his going to the bank right then in order to withdraw the balance, by saying they needed exercise, "… especially her who is already 86, a good 5 years older than me!".

    If this had not been enough yet, by then I was chuckling at his tactlessness and the overall originality of these two characters that had brightened my morning with a direct experience of a species on the edge of extinction. Nevertheless I feel so much attached to them because of a bond with my family that has existed for nearly 50 years and if not anything else, it should be prized for its duration and faithfulness.

  2. #2
    luschen is offline Member
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    Default Re: Edit and correct

    Hi, I will try to give my thoughts on your article. You did a fine job. You used a couple of strange words that I am not familiar with, but that is probably my fault Hopefully my corrections will be helpful.

    My grandfather built a low-rise block of flats in the early 1960's, soon after arriving to Bergamo from Milan. [the correct phrase is "arriving in" but I would use "moving to" which implies a permanent move instead of just a visit] He wanted to invest money from his own leather handbag firm he'd set up in partnership with his brother and launched in a building project with the help of my father, a construction engineer. After the first building was completed, the scheme came to a grinding halt owing to the concil's scheme for developing social housing in the neighbourhood. Part of the land was expropriated and the other planned buildings never saw the light. Instead of selling the first one, my grandfather kept it as an asset. The flats were soon rented and now, of these historical tenants that moved in in the '60's only a few remain, as some have died and others moved out. But Mr. M. is still a tenant.

    Today I had to collect the quarterly rent, because my mother was away. Mr. M. called on me at half past nine, accompanied by his wife. Both in their eighties now, they consider themselves to be the sole wardens of the house, the legitimate keepers of the order, who can stigmatise [never seen this word used like this, but according to the dictionary definition I guess it is correct - still sounds awkward to me] the new tenants' carrings-on [carryings-on]when they go as[so] far as to park a car in the yard, or to leave a bag unattended in the stairs. But he watches and reports, feeling he's offering his due service of ever lasting allegiance that was sealed at the fatidic signing of the lease contract, nearly 50 years ago.

    These quarterly visits run according to a set ceremonial, because Mr. M. not only comes with the rent, but invariably brings a token which mainly consists of a packaged cake and a bottle of wine. I I have a vague childhood memory of him bringing my brother and me a present, that later changed into a money [monetary] gift. There's no way of telling [to tell ] him he shouldn't take the trouble, because to him this is as much of a duty as paying the rent.

    He's such a character! Ceremoniously marking the class difference that he feels so acutely and likes to be subject to, he calls me by prefixing my given name by the title of Mr. I feel slightly uneasy from my more equalitarian stance, but I must accept him as he is. He enjoys paying hommage to his landlord and feel [feeling - must match paying earlier in sentence] respected by him as the perfect tenant. Therefore I had to play the game and behave according to script, which provides for me to pay [prescribes me paying] compliments to his good health and, of course, appreciate [ appreciating] his long-standing reliability.

    To prove it even with facts, Mr M. suddenly opens his wallet and after warning me not to be moved, shows me a passport-size photo of my father (who passed away nearly 10 years ago). He's convinced he brings him good luck.

    I offered to make some coffee, but he said I shouldn't trouble to mess up the machine… however, if I poured him some vermouth, for instance, I shouldn't have any problem at all!

    It is Mr M. that [always use who when referring to people - a pet peeve of mine!] leads the conversation, complaining vehemently of the bad news, politicians in general and the state of the country, and the picture that emerges from his outlook is of a hopeless place that has nothing good left to give its citizens, if not an excellent topic for grumbling.[run-on sentence - split up into two or three separate sentences] Whenever his wife shyly attempts to intervene, he abruptly imparts a curt command of "You shut up!" and she obediently takes back her word and keeps silent.

    But today something graver happened which made his subdued wife feel quite bad. The money they brought was slightly less than sum due, because of the incidence of heating expenses at the close of winter. In spite of my desperate attempt to make them feel comfortable and defer the balance payment, he felt pricked in his pride and found no other scapegoat than the poor woman, that [who] was soon easily blamed for passing him the wrong information.

    He said she should leave him the role of being the head of the family, as it ought to be! At which she weakly tried to defend herself by ironically repeating: "Well why, who should be to blame, if not me?". But this self-pitying reaction made him all the more powerful and in need of someone to thust the blame on, so he repeated several times that it was just through her fault.

    In front of her he justified his going to the bank right then in order to withdraw the balance, by saying they needed exercise, "… especially her who is already 86, a good 5 years older than me!".

    If this had not [yet] been enough yet, by then I was chuckling at his tactlessness and the overall originality of these two characters that had brightened my morning with a direct experience of a species on the edge of extinction. Nevertheless I feel so much attached to them because of a bond with my family that has existed for nearly 50 years and if not anything else, it should be prized for its duration and faithfulness.

  3. #3
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Edit and correct

    I liked this story so I corrected a bit and wrote in some comments. I might correct the rest when I have time.

    Cheers.



    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    I have written the following article, that I would like to submit for you to point out things I should improve. Thanks.

    My grandfather built a low-rise block of flats in the early 1960's, soon after arriving to in Bergamo from Milan. He wanted to invest money from his own leather handbag firm he'd set up in partnership with his brother and to launched in a building project with the help of my father, a construction engineer.* After the first building was completed, the scheme came to a grinding halt owing to the council's scheme (avoid repeating words) for developing social housing in the neighbourhood. Part of the land was expropriated and the other rest of the planned buildings never saw the light. Instead of selling the first one, my grandfather kept it as an asset. The flats were soon rented and now only a few_ of these historical tenants that moved in in during (two ins in a row is awkward) the '60's only a few remain_ as some have died and others moved out. But Mr. M. is still a tenant (repetitive try: but Mr. M. still lives here/there)

    Today I had to collect the quarterly rent_ because my mother was away**. Mr. M. called on me at half past nine, accompanied by his wife. Both in their eighties now, they consider themselves to be the sole wardens of the house, the legitimate keepers of the order, who can stigmatise the new tenants' carrings-on (you can stigmatize people, not their actions) when they go as far as to park a car in the yard, or to leave a bag unattended ion the stairs. But he (you said earlier they both did it; don't switch pronouns) watches and reports, feeling he's offering his due service of and ever lasting allegiance that was sealed at the fatidic (this is a wrong word here; try: fateful) signing of the lease contract, nearly 50 years ago.

    These quarterly visits run according to a set ceriemonialy (although ritual would be a better word)_*** because Mr. M. not only comes with the rent, but invariably brings a token gift (or "a token of his loyalty") which mainly consists mainly of a packaged cake and a bottle of wine. I I have a vague childhood memory of him bringing my brother and me a presents_ that later changed into a money gift of money. There's no way of telling him that he shouldn't take the trouble_ (again, see note below) because to him this is as much of a duty as paying the rent.
    *you have to make sure your constructions are parallel. Here's a handout on the topic.

    **You want to put your modifier as close as possible to the thing it modifies. The way this sentence reads is ambiguous. It could read that the reason for collecting rent is that your mother is away.
    Consider: Because my mother was away, I was the one who had to collect the rent today.

    *** second time you put a comma before because; a comma is needed only when the dependent clause comes before the independent one. It is not needed when the dependent clause follows the independent one.
    Last edited by freezeframe; 06-Apr-2011 at 15:54.

  4. #4
    licinio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Edit and correct

    Thanks a lot to both of you for the professional comments and corrections. You help me a lot to improve my language!

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