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Thread: Short passage

  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Question Short passage

    "I decided to piece all these guys together into one incredible team of chess players. Chess players who are better in soccer than in chess. How come they call themselves chess players? I don't care, it's not my problem. What counts for me is that they're good soccer players and I am to gather a soccer team of chess players. This is my task and I will do that by hook or by crook. And I really don't care whether they prefer milk or wine, they may even like riding a bicycle pedaling with their hands. I simply don't care."

    Does this passage read well?

    Nyggus

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Short passage

    Hi nyggus,

    There are some syntax errors in that you have a couple comma splices.

    But I had a hard time finding the meaning. If they are going to be an incredible team of chess players but they are better at soccer (I would say "at soccer" rather than "in soccer") than they are at chess, they must be world-class soccer players to be better than "incredible."

    If it's your job to get a chess team together, how can it not matter to you that they call themselves chess players?

    What does their choice of milk or wine have to do with this? I'm just not picking up on the mood you're trying to create because it seems to be conflicting.

    -- I'm not a teacher, but I'm a writer.

  3. #3
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Short passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Hi nyggus,

    There are some syntax errors in that you have a couple comma splices.

    But I had a hard time finding the meaning. If they are going to be an incredible team of chess players but they are better at soccer (I would say "at soccer" rather than "in soccer") than they are at chess, they must be world-class soccer players to be better than "incredible."

    If it's your job to get a chess team together, how can it not matter to you that they call themselves chess players?

    What does their choice of milk or wine have to do with this? I'm just not picking up on the mood you're trying to create because it seems to be conflicting.

    -- I'm not a teacher, but I'm a writer.
    Hi, Barb. Thanks. I made comma splices on purpose as a means of expression. Is it generally wrong? I have come across comma splices in very many texts, even those that could be called reference books on English.

    As for the meaning and the logic, you're right: it's a bit stupid, I know. And I know not many like this sort of writing, but I do. As they say, there's no accounting for taste.

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

    PS: And I'd be obliged to hear your opinion about this comma splices thing.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Short passage

    Well, I don't mind the fragments at all (e.g., "Chess players..") because people do talk that way, buy I do mind the comma splices, because we don't put in commas when we talk. You could replace them with dashes, for example, or just make them mini-sentences. In fact "It's not my problem" probably works better as a fragment "Not my problem."

    I don't mind the rapid-fire quality - in fact, I quite like it and write this way myself at times. But I do mind the lack of logic from not caring that they call themselves chess players when it's his job to create a chess team. :S Oh well. As you say, there's no accounting for taste and you don't have to share mine at all :)

    (I did like the image of riding the bike by using their hands on the pedals - that was a great line, even though I don't understand how it fits.)

  5. #5
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Short passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    (I did like the image of riding the bike by using their hands on the pedals - that was a great line, even though I don't understand how it fits.)
    Get your point with comma splices, and it indeed seems reasonable.
    Frankly, the sentence with pedaling is probably the most important in the passage as it shows what kind of writing the piece represents: after reading this sentence a reader should not be surprised by anything in the piece.
    But I see your other point, that with the logic. I think you wouldn't have seen the problem had the first two sentences been joined into this one:
    "I decided to piece all these guys together into one incredible team of chess players who are better in soccer than in chess."
    Am I right? Actually, this was the meaning I wanted the sentences to carry, and I think in Polish it might be understood like this (with some additional expression and emphasis given by this splitting into two sentences [well, rather a sentence and a fragment]), but maybe in English it might not. What do you think about it?

    Nyggus

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