Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: The Funeral

  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 6,551
    #1

    The Funeral

    Would you please correct the mistakes in this short text? I looked up the word "lay" in a dictionary, and then the sentences came up in my mind. This is just an exercise.

    At the funeral of his colleague Jim, Peter laid his hand on the shoulder of his widow, Hannah.
    "I'm sorry," he said and shook her hand. "Jim was a great man. I've known him for more than twenty years."
    Hannah, all dressed in black, scoffed. "You believed you knew him. Many did. Only I know what kind of a man he was. He was a swine wearing a mask of kindness."
    Jim winced as if bitten by a wasp. "Is that true?" he said.
    "Have you ever seen him drunk?" Hannah asked.
    Peter shook his head. "No."

    "When he was drunk, he metamorphosed into a monster. He bit me black and blue. I often had to wear sunglasses to hide the bruises and in summer, I sometimes wore long sleeves and long skirts because my limbs were black from beatings. I had spent many nights with my neighbours or outside, walking through the streets while waiting for him to sober up."

    Jim's face contorted with pain, as if he himself was going through the same ordeal. "But why didn't you leave him?"
    "Because of our children. My parents divorced when I was little, I didn't want them to experience the same distress. And when they grew older, I didn't have the courage and energy to take that final step. I probably got used to being beaten and abused. I prayed night after night that he would become gravely ill, but God didn't answer my prayers until two years ago when he got cancer. He had believed to be invincible, the archaeology Professor Jim Johnson, the expert in Ancient Egypt. I read his obituaries in national papers and laughed. You got an impression they were describing a saint. 'Leaving behind a wife and two children. A great loss for academia. Studious, erudite, witty...' I wrote his obituary in my mind, which was, of course, completely opposite, and I toyed with the idea of calling the same papers and tell them my side of the story, which I never did. But I got my revenge anyway as I watched him dying slowly and in pain. At least he used morphine, which I couldn't when I was in pain, but no amount of it seemed to be sufficient. He feared death."

    They stood together and watched Jim's coffin on a trolley quickly sliding into the furnace to the sounds of Palestrina's Stabat Mater. Everything was automatic, efficient, fast and with a minimal loss of heat. After a few minutes, a sixty-eight-old body turned into ashes, and Professor Johnson passed into history.

    They held each other's hands in silence, looking at each other. Her eyes were large and green and made his heart tremble. She was in her fifties, but her face was without any wrinkles. He had desire to kiss her right there in front of the mourners and his husband's ashes. He wanted to tell her that the black hat looked good on her fair face and hair The thumping of his heart became louder, and he wondered if she could hear it too. He had just discovered a gem, more important than any archaeological discovery he had ever made. He opened his wallet, picked up his business card and gave it to her. "If there is anything I can help, please don't hesitate," he said. She held it in his gloved hand, read from it for a few seconds and then put it in her handbag. She nodded and gave him a smile. This was a good sign. They understood each other.

  2. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 9,058
    #2

    Re: The Funeral

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    "When he was drunk, he metamorphosed into a monster.
    She's more likely to say "changed into" or "became" instead of "metamorphosed into" which is a high-register expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    He bit me black and blue.
    I first thought you're talking about some kind of fetish, but then I realized you mean "beat".

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I had spent many nights with my at the neighbours' or outside, walking through the streets while waiting for him to sober up."

    My parents divorced when I was little, I didn't want them the children to experience the same distress.
    Comma splice highlighted in blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    He had believed to be invincible, the archaeology Professor Jim Johnson, the expert in Ancient Egypt.
    I have no idea what that means!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I read Reading his obituaries in the national papers, and laughed. You got you'd be forgiven for thinking an impression they were describing a saint. 'Leaving behind a wife and two children. A great loss for academia. Studious, erudite, witty...' I wrote his obituary in my mind, which was, of course, completely the opposite, and I toyed with the idea of calling the same papers and telling them my side of the story, which I never did. But I got my revenge anyway as I watched him dying slowly and in pain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    At least he used morphine, which I couldn't when I was in pain, but no amount of it seemed to be sufficient. He was always fearful of feared death."
    Why "at least"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    They stood together and watched Jim's coffin on a trolley quickly sliding into the furnace to the sounds of Palestrina's Stabat Mater. Everything was automatic, efficient, fast and with a minimal loss of heat. After a few minutes, a sixty-eight-old body turned into ashes, and Professor Johnson passed into history.
    I don't get the underlined part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    He had the desire to kiss her right there in front of the mourners and his her husband's ashes. He wanted to tell her that the black hat looked good on suited her fair face and hair. The thumping of his heart became louder, and he wondered if she could hear it too. He had just discovered a gem, more important than any archaeological discovery he had ever made. He opened his wallet, picked up his out a business card and gave it to her. "If there is anything I can help with, please don't hesitate," he said. She held it in his her gloved hand, read from it for a few seconds and then put it in her handbag. She nodded and gave him a smile. This was a good sign. They understood each other.

  3. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 6,551
    #3

    Re: The Funeral

    "He had believed to be invincible, the archaeology Professor Jim Johnson, the expert in Ancient Egypt." These are Hannah's thoughts. Jim drank believing he was never going to become ill. At the same time, she mentions his profession, which sounds important, but at the same time it is in contrast with his bad behaviour.

    I now understand that I used "at least" wrongly. It should be deleted.

    "With the minimal loss of heat" is about the modern cremation furnace which is built in such a way that the coffin slides quickly into the furnace and the door is closed behind immediately so that very little heat escapes outside.

  4. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 9,058
    #4

    Re: The Funeral

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    "He had believed to be invincible, the archaeology Professor Jim Johnson, the expert in Ancient Egypt." These are Hannah's thoughts. Jim drank believing he was never going to become ill. At the same time, she mentions his profession, which sounds important, but at the same time it is in contrast with his bad behaviour.
    Say "He thought he was invincible".

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    "With the minimal loss of heat" is about the modern cremation furnace which is built in such a way that the coffin slides quickly into the furnace and the door is closed behind immediately so that very little heat escapes outside.
    It sounds too technical and unnecessary. Consider leaving it out.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 15,499
    #5

    Re: The Funeral

    At the funeral of his colleague, Jim, Peter laid his hand on the shoulder of his widow, Hannah.

    I assume you are talking about the widow of the deceased. Also, "laid his hand on" does not seem natural to me. (But I will consult my usage consultant on that one.)
    Not a professional teacher

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 15,499
    #6

    Re: The Funeral

    Jim says:

    "I knew him for more than twenty years."
    Not a professional teacher

  7. Senior Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2019
    • Posts: 611
    #7

    Re: The Funeral

    Not a teacher
    ------

    Maybe this "He believed he was the expert in Ancient Egypt, invincible professor Jim Johnson."

    I love your story. Can't wait what happens next.

  8. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 6,551
    #8

    Re: The Funeral

    Glizdka,

    Your version is wrong. Professor Johnson was an expert in Ancient Egypt. I gave this information just to specify him and contrast his professional success with his failure as a human being and a husband. I have written this short story in one go, just as an exercise, and its ends here. If I had meant to write it as a proper short story, I would have written it differently.

  9. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 9,058
    #9

    Re: The Funeral

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Not a teacher
    Maybe this: "He believed he was the expert in on ancient Egypt, the invincible Professor Jim Johnson."
    I love your story and can't wait to see/read what happens next.
    Yes, that can work.
    However, note the corrections, especially to the wrong preposition which I had missed before. Saying “in ancient Egypt” would mean he was actually there (an ancient historical figure)!

  10. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 9,058
    #10

    Re: The Funeral

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Your version is wrong. Professor Johnson was an expert in on ancient Egypt. I gave this information just to specify describe him and contrast his professional success with his failure as a human being and a husband. I have written this short story in one go, just as an exercise, and its it ends here. If I had meant to write it as a proper short story, I would have written it differently.
    .

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •