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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Please, would you proofread my text

    Please would you proofread my text. I called it "SHOAH", after the well-known documentary about Holocaust.

    There is a scene in Claude Lanzmann's 10-hour documentary “Shoah” which come up in my mind very often. A former prisoner, a man who had worked in a gas chamber in Auschwitz was telling the story about newly arrived transport of Jews from a city in central Europe. Among hundreds of people, there was a woman who recognized one of the members of the “Sonderkommando.” They knew each other well before the war broke out.

    She asked him what was going to happen with them. It was strictly forbidden for the prisoners working in the “Sonderkommando” to speak to anyone, but the man, despite his fear, told her that they all were going to be gassed and burned in the ovens. Desperately, she went to the women with children and told them the horrible truth. They laughed at her and did not want to believe her words. Then she turned to the men, hoping that at least they would do something. But they told her that was crazy and mocked her. It was unimaginable that the Germans could be so cruel, they said.

    She was so despairing that she started scratching her face with her nails. But nothing could lift her fellow countrymen out of their naivety and ignorance.
    When the commander discovered what was going on, he ordered the whole transport to be gassed, except her. When the others had been killed, the SS men turned to her and tortured her for hours until she told them the name of the prisoner who had told her the truth. Finally they threw them both still alive into the infernal oven.
    This is a horrific story, which I remember whenever I see somebody trying to tell his fellow citizens the truth, which they unfortunately do not want to hear. His or her powerfulness must be crushing, because if one is taught as a child to be honest and speak the truth, one cannot stay silent and simply pretend that white is black and vice versa.

    However, in our civilization, those who speak the truth and want to stay faithful to their ideals and moral values, are usually seen as strange, if not outright mad. They risk to be isolated because their presence in the group will always be seen as opposition, a potential threat to society, for even the most democratic society demands obedience. True, it is not absolute obedience as in the case of the Nazi Germany and other dictatorships, but still many leaders in a democracy dream about having absolute power and subjects who will not question their decisions, and instead blindly follow their plans and ideas.

    Nazis used to imprison their potential enemies and others who they saw as “deviant” in concentration camps, and Stalin did the same with his own people sending them to the cold Siberia where they became slaves. However, modern democracies do not need to employ such drastic measures. One can control crowds without beating, imprisoning and torturing them. One can even make them believe that yellow colour is actually green and red blue. One can even engage a famous professor who will write a thick book in which he “scientifically” can prove that yellow is green and red blue. ..
    Unfortunately, no other creature on earth is susceptible to manipulations and propaganda as human beings. One cannot manipulate a wolf and teach him to hate another wolf and make him believe that another wolf is his worst enemy, or train a tiger to despise other tigers or other animals. Even a dreadfully hungry animal will stay fateful to its nature and will not debase itself. However, when it is about us, human beings, one cannot be sure...
    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Bassim; 07-Apr-2011 at 20:08.

  2. #2
    Kazaman is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    There is a scene in Claude Lanzmann's 10-hour documentary “Shoah” which come up in my mind very often.
    There is a scene in Claude Lanzmann's ten hour long documentary Shoah which comes to my mind very often.

    In formal writing, you should write out numbers lower or equal to one hundred for the most part (math and dates being some common exceptions). Adding "long" after "ten hour" is more specific and natural. As for the title Shoah, works which are published alone are generally underlined rather than placed in quotation marks (works published in collections or anthologies are italicised).

    Remember that "which," in this sentence, is a pronoun replacing the documentary. There is only one documentary, so the verb must be in the third personal singular rather than plural (hence comes). "Comes up in my mind" was just a bit wordy. "Comes to my mind" flows much more naturally.

    A former prisoner, a man who had worked in a gas chamber in Auschwitz was telling the story about newly arrived transport of Jews from a city in central Europe.
    "A former prisoner who had worked" is correct, if you mean that the former prisoner was a man who worked in Auschwitz. You can only have one subject per verb.

    She asked him what was going to happen with them.
    She asked him what was going to happen to them. Prepositions can be annoying.

    Then she turned to the men, hoping that at least they would do something. But they told her that was crazy and mocked her.
    She was so despairing that she started scratching her face with her nails. But nothing could lift her fellow countrymen out of their naivety and ignorance.
    Those conjunctions must come after commas rather than periods, though you can keep the periods if you ditch the conjunctions.

    Finally they threw them both still alive into the infernal oven.
    When adverbs come at the start of sentences like that rather than before the verb they modify, a comma must follow them. "Finally, they threw them both, still alive, into the infernal oven." You can see that I also isolated "still alive" with commas. That's the proper way to deal with weak interjections.

    This is a horrific story, which I remember whenever I see somebody trying to tell his fellow citizens the truth, which they unfortunately do not want to hear.
    Try "I remember this horrific story whenever ..." to start this sentence instead. You should also scrap the final comma, otherwise it sounds like you're trying to say that they do not want to hear that you remember it rather than that they do not want to hear the truth.

    His or her powerfulness must be crushing, because if one is taught as a child to be honest and speak the truth, one cannot stay silent and simply pretend that white is black and vice versa.
    Powerfulness is unnecessary. Use power.

    However, in our civilization, those who speak the truth and want to stay faithful to their ideals and moral values, are usually seen as strange, if not outright mad.
    There is no comma before "are." It would be like writing "However, in our civilisation, they, are usually seen [etc.]," which clearly isn't correct.

    They risk to be isolated because their presence in the group will always be seen as opposition, a potential threat to society, for even the most democratic society demands obedience.
    Since because is separating two independent clauses, you have to place a comma before it.

    Nazis used to imprison their potential enemies and others who they saw as “deviant” in concentration camps, and Stalin did the same with his own people sending them to the cold Siberia where they became slaves.
    There's no reason to join those two independent clauses, so let's clean this up a bit (I'll correct other mistakes as they arise):

    "Nazis used to imprison their potential enemies and others whom they saw as deviant in concentration camps. Stalin did the same with his own people, sending them to cold Siberia, where they became slaves."

    You only use quotation marks for direct quotes in formal writing. Who must be modified to whom to match the case (accusative), since the others are the object, not the subject. Places never take articles. The relative clause beginning with where is non-restrictive, so there must be a comma.

    One can even make them believe that yellow colour is actually green and red blue. One can even engage a famous professor who will write a thick book in which he “scientifically” can prove that yellow is green and red blue.
    "One can even make them believe that yellow is actually green, red or blue. One can even engage a famous professor who will write a thick book in which he scientifically prove that yellow is green, red or blue."

    I've never heard of the colour red blue, so I corrected that; if you meant to say that, however, do keep it that way. I can clarify the rest of the corrections if need be, just ask.

    Unfortunately, no other creature on earth is susceptible to manipulations and propaganda as human beings.
    When you're comparing ike this, you have to include as after the verb to be: "No other creature on Earth is as susceptible to manipulation and propaganda as human beings." Planet names are capitalised (being proper nouns) and manipulation is only countable in the context of being specific ways in which someone manipulated something.

    Even a dreadfully hungry animal will stay fateful to its nature and will not debase itself.
    Faithful is the word you want.

    ---

    If you have any questions about my corrections, or objections to them, feel free to voice them.

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Dear Kazaman,

    Thank you so much for your detailed explanations. I cannot remember if anyone before has given me such detailed explanations. I really appreciate your effort.

    I have noticed that I have used a wrong noun in the sentence "His or her powerfulness must be crushing..."
    Actually I wanted to say,"His or her powerlessness must be crushing..."

  4. #4
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazaman View Post

    If you have any questions about my corrections, or objections to them, feel free to voice them.
    Okay, I'll rise to the challenge. I disagree with quite a few of your corrections.

  5. #5
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Dear freezeframe,

    If you have some spare time, please would you tell me what "kazaman" has corrected wrong. I would really like to know the correct answer.

  6. #6
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Dear freezeframe,

    If you have some spare time, please would you tell me what "kazaman" has corrected wrong. I would really like to know the correct answer.
    I will later.

  7. #7
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my text

    Quote: A former prisoner, a man who had worked in a gas chamber in Auschwitz was telling the story about newly arrived transport of Jews from a city in central Europe.
    "A former prisoner who had worked" is correct, if you mean that the former prisoner was a man who worked in Auschwitz. You can only have one subject per verb.
    I believe "a man who had worked in a gas chamber in Auschwitz" is an appositive here; there's still only one subject. The appositive has to be set off by commas.

    A former prisoner, a man who had worked in a gas chamber in Auschwitz, was telling the story about newly arrived transport of Jews from a city in central Europe.

    Quote:
    Then she turned to the men, hoping that at least they would do something. But they told her that was crazy and mocked her.
    Quote:
    She was so despairing that she started scratching her face with her nails. But nothing could lift her fellow countrymen out of their naivety and ignorance.
    Those conjunctions must come after commas rather than periods, though you can keep the periods if you ditch the conjunctions.
    Starting sentences with "but" might get some people upset, but in general it's okay now. It's a stylistic choice. It can be used for rhetorical effect to create more punctuated style. I think it works here.



    Quote:
    His or her powerfulness must be crushing, because if one is taught as a child to be honest and speak the truth, one cannot stay silent and simply pretend that white is black and vice versa.
    Powerfulness is unnecessary. Use power.
    Power or, indeed, powerfulness do not make sense here. Power is not crushing to the one who has it, powerlessness is. I believe that's the word you need, given the context.

    Quote: They risk to be isolated because their presence in the group will always be seen as opposition, a potential threat to society, for even the most democratic society demands obedience.
    Since because is separating two independent clauses, you have to place a comma before it.
    Because is a subordinating conjunction. "Because their presence in the group will always be seen as opposition" is not an independent clause. A comma is not needed when a subordinate clause follows the main one.


    Quote:
    Nazis used to imprison their potential enemies and others who they saw as “deviant” in concentration camps, and Stalin did the same with his own people sending them to the cold Siberia where they became slaves.
    There's no reason to join those two independent clauses, so let's clean this up a bit (I'll correct other mistakes as they arise):

    "Nazis used to imprison their potential enemies and others whom they saw as deviant in concentration camps. Stalin did the same with his own people, sending them to cold Siberia, where they became slaves."


    You only use quotation marks for direct quotes in formal writing. Who must be modified to whom to match the case (accusative), since the others are the object, not the subject. Places never take articles. The relative clause beginning with where is non-restrictive, so there must be a comma.
    Completely agree with most of this except:

    use of double quotations is acceptable if the author is trying to convey a reservation about the term, which I believe is the case here. This should be, however, used sparingly or else it becomes poor style.

    Also, it's not true that places never take articles.

    Quote:
    One can even make them believe that yellow colour is actually green and red blue. One can even engage a famous professor who will write a thick book in which he “scientifically” can prove that yellow is green and red blue.
    "One can even make them believe that yellow is actually green, red or blue. One can even engage a famous professor who will write a thick book in which he scientifically prove that yellow is green, red or blue."

    I've never heard of the colour red blue, so I corrected that; if you meant to say that, however, do keep it that way. I can clarify the rest of the corrections if need be, just ask.
    I think what the OP wants to say is "believe/prove that yellow is actually green and that red is blue".


    If you have any questions about my corrections, or objections to them, feel free to voice them.
    The ball is in your court now.

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