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    #1

    David opened the window

    I am wondering if my sentences sound natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    David opened the window and inhaled deeply the cold morning air. The city down below was waking up, and the columns of cars glided in the streets like enormous snakes.

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    #2

    Re: David opened the window

    Longman Dictonary: Column: a long moving line of people or things. Example: a column of marching men.

    I think it could be used for cars also.

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    #3

    Re: David opened the window

    It's okay.

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    #4

    Re: David opened the window

    Although I like the use of columns of cars, columns are always straight, and this conflicts with the movement of snakes, which is not.

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    #5

    Re: David opened the window

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    columns are always straight
    Straightish. I can visualize, e.g., a column of smoke not being completely straight.

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    #6

    Re: David opened the window

    jutfrank,

    With all respect, I think that columns are not always straight. They can wind also. For example like this: The column of soldiers wound its way over the mountain pass.

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    #7

    Re: David opened the window

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Straightish. I can visualize, e.g., a column of smoke not being completely straight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    With all respect, I think that columns are not always straight. They can wind also. For example like this: The column of soldiers wound its way over the mountain pass.
    Fair enough. With the smoke, I feel that that word is used when the smoke is unusually straight. Smoke normally disperses into plumes and cloudlike structures, so although it is still only straightish, the emphasis is on its straightness.

    Bassim - with respect, the imagery in your example is a bit incoherent, in my opinion. With soldiers, columns evokes ranks and files, i.e. straight lines, which is how soldiers try to move when in formation, (when the topography of the terrain allows, of course.)

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    #8

    Re: David opened the window

    jutfrank,

    I can only say that the first time I heard the word "column" it was in primary school when I read stories about Tito's partisans walking in columns over the mountains and through the woods. So I automatically associate that word with people or things winding through the landscape. But you as a native speaker certainly are right. I can only describe what I see in my mind's eye when I heard the word "column".

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    #9

    Re: David opened the window

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    But you as a native speaker certainly are right.
    I think we're both right.

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