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  1. HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
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      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Apr 2005
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    #1

    Too wordy?

    You see how smooth Tarzan moves in the Disney title of the same name?
    or
    You see how smooth Tarzan moves in the Disney title that bears the same name?

    One of them must've been what I said on the phone with my friend. Well, I could've just said "You see how smooth Tarzan moves in the Disney animated movie 'Tarzan'?", but I don't like the repetition of the same word unless it's intended.

    My question is, would the two sentences above be something you native speakers use? are they too wordy? or would you rather use totally different structure? Please let me know. Thank you very much.

    • Member Info
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      • British English
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    #2

    Re: Too wordy?

    You see how smooth Tarzan moves in the Disney version/movie.

    That's what I'd say. Well, being a BrE speaker, I'd go for 'smoothly'.

  2. tctepreslm's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 6
    #3

    Lightbulb Re: Too wordy?

    Hello, HaraKiriBlade

    The exact way of phrasing would be influenced by time and circumstance. If you had just seen the movie or had established a context of discussing recent films, I think most Americans would express this thought by saying, "Did you see how smoothly Tarzan moved? Those Disney animators are amazing!" In a written analysis of the film, a writer might phrase this thought by stating, "The smooth movements of the character Tarzan demonstrate that Disney's contemporary animators have lost none of the studio's lifelike skill and precision, the trademark of its golden era."

    Yes, both sentences could be used by native speakers, but only the second one is closer to being gramatically correct according to the rules of standard American English.

    The first sentence has some errors very common in slang usage, one of which could also be construed as a clarity issue. Technically, in the way the sentence is written,

    "You see how smooth (+ ly) Tarzan moves in the Disney title of the same name?"

    the sentence structure suggests that the speaker is asking the listener to look at how the animated character Tarzan is moving in the actual letters of the film's title as they are presented two-dimensionally either on a movie screen or on a piece of paper (perhaps an ad for the movie in a newspaper.) Is he swinging from the letter "T" in his own name like an ape? Regardless of whether the film were live action or animated, would a native speaker/listener understand the content? Yep. You betcha. But it is awkward.

    The other error is an EXCEPTIONALLY FREQUENT mistake made by many native speakers in casual conversation and informal writing. It's a modifier problem in which speakers leave off the -ly ending that makes an adjective form of a word into an adverb. Most likely, the speaker's thoughts, and subconscious, internalized system of grammar, are focused on the subject (a noun or pronoun), so that even when describing the subject's actions, the speaker concentrates on Tarzan himself and not on what he is doing: Tarzan moves smoothly.

    The first sentence could be used by an educated person in a very casual, face-to-face conversation with either close friends or others who are in some slight, almost insignificant way, subordinate to the speaker. It's not very likely that a well-educated person would make such a grammar goof in the company of people who are superior in status, or who are held in high regard, because the speaker would subconsciously be on his or her "best" syntactical behavior and wouldn't want to do anything to lose face or cause a venerated person, such as a grandparent, to feel disappointed or embarrassed.

    What a very interesting question, Harakiriblade! As you can tell from lengthy reply, I enjoyed giving it a good "think."


  3. HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Apr 2005
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    #4

    Re: Too wordy?

    Thank you very much Tdol, as always. Now that I think of it, 'Tarzan' has many different 'versions' and Disney's is just one of them. See, in my native language the concept of 'verson' is virtually non-existent. It was probably introduced only recently.

    And tctepreslm, I really, really appreciate your long reply! I usually don't write back if the reply answers my question in full because any reply I write, a display of gratitude and whatnot, will bump this thread up, but I see you just started coming here and I didn't want to let you down. Please do keep it up! I need somebody like you to provide explanations in detail. Don't feel obliged to do so every time, bust I just want you to know your input is very much valued.

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