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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    tantalizingly good and harmless

    Hello.

    In my short story, there are two mafia bosses at war. One of them sends an attractive woman to destroy the other. I want to suggest the woman was very tempting.

    Can I use the word "tantalizingly"? Now, I have written a sentence which I know doesn't work for speaking but is it a good sentence for writing?

    She was a poison pill, one that looked so tantalizingly good and harmless.

    Also, what about the two adjectives that come after it? Do I have other options?

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    In my short story, there are two mafia bosses at war. One of them sends an attractive woman to destroy the other. I want to suggest the woman was very tempting. Can I use the word "tantalizingly"? Yes, you can.

    Now, I have written a sentence which I know doesn't work for speaking when spoken but is it a good written sentence? for writing?

    She was a poison pill, but one that looked so tantalizingly good and harmless.

    Also, what about the two adjectives that come after it? Do I have other options?
    See above. "Harmless" is fine but many editors will recommend you avoid wishy-washy adjectives like "good" and "nice". I'm sure you can come up with something else.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    See above. "Harmless" is fine but many editors will recommend you avoid wishy-washy adjectives like "good" and "nice". I'm sure you can come up with something else.
    I see. Do these work? Which one is better?

    1. tantalizingly alluring
    2. tantalizingly seductive
    3. tantalizingly tempting

    I need to make sure that they are not a miscollocation.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Those all seem redundant and wordy. Why not just say she looked tantalizing?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Not sure about poison pill.

  6. #6
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Those all seem redundant and wordy. Why not just say she looked tantalizing?
    Because I need to use "tantalizingly" as and adverb and have it followed by "harmless" as ad adjective. But I can't say "tantalizingly harmless," can I?

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Because I need to use "tantalizingly" as and adverb and have it followed by "harmless" as ad adjective. But I can't say "tantalizingly harmless," can I?
    I'm sure I've asked you a similar question before but why do you need to use those words? Who is forcing you to use them?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm sure I've asked you a similar question before but why do you need to use those words? Who is forcing you to use them?
    You are right. My bad. I "want" to use to those words.

  9. #9
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    You are right. My bad. I "want" to use to those words.
    .
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  10. #10
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: tantalizingly good and harmless

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    .
    Thanks for the correction.

    Let's see what natives think about the collocations.

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