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Thread: Word "unstrung"

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    #1

    Word "unstrung"

    I am wondering if I could use "unstrung" in my sentence. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    After I had seen a tragic traffic accident, I was unstrung for days afterwards.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    It doesn't sound natural to me. What are you trying to say?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    I was surprised to find that dictionaries define unstrung as emotionally distressed/unnerved/upset, as I don't recall ever reading it or hearing it used in that way.

    I'd avoid using it except in the context of violins or tennis racquets, Bassim.

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    #4

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    I wanted to say that I was distressed. Just as Rover_KE has written in his post, I believed that I could use "unstrung" in my sentence, meaning I was upset.

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    #5

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    I just want to add where I found the word "unstrung". It was in Richard Ford's short story "Quality Time". "He wanted that act now very much, felt aroused but also slightly unstrung. He had, after all, seen a death tonight. Death unstrung everyone."

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    #6

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    Like Rover, I can't remember ever seeing or hearing it used this way. You can use it if you like but you need to be aware that anyone who isn't aware of that dictionary definition might be confused.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    Thank you emsr2d2,
    I appreciate your advice and correction very much.
    As I said to GoesStation the other day, I am trying to use different synonyms just to see if they function well in my sentences or not. I sometimes see a word in a text, and I feel that it sounds unusual, but I am trying to use it nevertheless to see if I can use it in my sentence. But of course, the result is not the best all the time, but at least I have learnt something new.

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    #8

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    I haven't heard it used that way either. Let's see if AmE speakers are more familiar with it.

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    #9

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I haven't heard it used that way either. Let's see if AmE speakers are more familiar with it.
    Unstrung is a fairly common way in AmE to describe someone who might also be described as not wound too tight(ly); someone with a loose grasp on reality. A charming memoir about the author's eccentric (mentally ill but, barely, functional) uncles, later made into a film, was called Unstrung Heroes.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: Word "unstrung"

    We'd say something like "The stress is clearly getting to him. He's becoming unstrung."
    But I wouldn't say "unstrung for days."

    After I saw the accident, I was unsettled for several days.
    Seeing the accident left me feeling unsettled for several days.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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