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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Is this correct and natural?

    Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood, blaming herself. Her adventures had gotten her in trouble again. Inside the building a man tried to mug her and when she escaped outside, she was attacked by a vicious dog. She looked disheveled, her messy hair was out from under her scarf, fluttering in the wind. The two top buttons of her tunic were undone and her pants were badly covered in dust. There was a churning in her stomach. She didn’t know if it was fear or disgust. She raised her sweaty palms and felt her pulse beating down to her fingertips. At least she was still alive. She just kept walking, trying to shove down the mental images of a few minutes ago as far down as possible.
    Air conditioners protruded from all the windows of the neighborhood, whirring with a loud noise in the summer air. Hot streams of air radiated off their backs, hitting Jane's face. Rivulets of sweat were running down her face and her stomach was growling with hunger. Her tongue and her throat were dry.
    Trying to find a water fountain, Jane found her way into a big street. The city was just beginning to emerge from a midday rest. Cars and motorcycles were swooshing by. The people swarmed around on the sidewalk, walking fast to reach their destination and escape the heat of the summer air. Some ignored Jane and some gave her the look. She found a fountain and washed her face.
    She stopped, tucked her hair under her scarf and dusted her pants down. She took out a small makeup mirror and a cosmetic case from her bag. Her mind was still on Patrick. She then pulled out a lipstick tube. She thought about Patrick, her date, as she put on some lipstick.

    I would like to replace the underlined part with a better phrase/word.
    Last edited by alpacinoutd; 17-Apr-2021 at 16:17.

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Is this correct and natural?

    Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood, blaming herself. Her adventures had gotten her in trouble again. Inside the building a man tried to mug her, and when she escaped outside, she was attacked by a vicious dog. She looked disheveled, her messy hair was out from under her scarf, fluttering in the wind. The two top buttons of her tunic were undone and her pants were badly covered with dust. There was a churning in her stomach. She didn’t know if it was fear or disgust. She raised her sweaty palms and felt her pulse beating down to her fingertips. At least she was still alive. She just kept walking, trying to shove down the mental images of a few minutes ago as far down as possible.

    Air conditioners protruded from all the windows of the neighborhood, whirring with a loud noise in the summer air. Hot streams of air radiated off their backs, hitting Jane's face. Rivulets of sweat were running down her face and her stomach was growling with hunger. Her tongue and her throat were dry.

    Looking for a water fountain, Jane found her way into a big street. The city was just beginning to emerge from a midday rest. Cars and motorcycles were swooshing by. The people swarmed around on the sidewalk, walking fast to reach their destinations and escape the heat of the summer air. Some ignored Jane and some gave her the look. She found a fountain and washed her face.

    What look? Rephrase.


    She stopped, tucked her hair under her scarf and dusted her pants off. She took out a small makeup mirror and a cosmetic case from her bag. Her mind was still on Patrick. She then pulled out a lipstick tube. She thought about Patrick, her date, as she put on some lipstick.

    I would like to replace the underlined part with a better phrase/word.

    Her pants were filthy.

    Her pants were stained.

    Her pants were encrusted with dirt.
    The whole dog business rings false. First, going back to an earlier thread, they nuzzle you if they're curious, affectionate, needy, or playful. If they're vicious, they don't sniff you. They lunge, full-tilt, and bite. It's very sudden.

    Second, she behaves as if she doesn't know what kind of animal it is. That's not believable.

    Third, if you've been attacked by a vicious dog, you have a lot more to worry about than dirty pants or makeup.

    If she sees the dog coming from a distance, then she might have time to climb a tree. But then what? Does she wait for the owner to come? Does she climb down on the other side of a fence? Does a passerby help her?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 20-Apr-2021 at 09:02. Reason: Fixed spelling of "vicious"
    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.

  3. #3
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    The whole dog business rings false. First, going back to an earlier thread, they nuzzle you if they're curious, affectionate, needy, or playful. If they're vicious, they don't sniff you. They lunge, full-tilt, and bite. It's very sudden.

    Second, she behaves as if she doesn't know what kind of animal it is. That's not believable.

    Third, if you've been attacked by a vicious dog, you have a lot more to worry about than dirty pants or makeup.

    If she sees the dog coming from a distance, then she might have time to climb a tree. But then what? Does she wait for the owner to come? Does she climb down on the other side of a fence? Does a passerby help her?
    Thank you very much Charlie.

    With respect to look, can I say "withering"? Some ignored Jane and some gave her withering looks. I want to imply that people looked at her in a way to admonish her. What other options do I have?

    With respect to the dog, you are right. It needs to be worked on. I deal with the dog attack in a previous chapter. The dog attacks her but she escapes.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 20-Apr-2021 at 09:02. Reason: Fixed typo in quote

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Yes, withering fits very well. They might also glare at her. But use that withering. It's a great word.
    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: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Covered in dust works in BrE, for me at least.

  6. #6
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    Re: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    I'd add something after "blaming herself" in the opening sentence. It's odd to just stop there. We usually say that we blame ourselves (or someone else) for something.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is online now VIP Member
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    Re: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Thank you very much Charlie.

    With respect to look, can I say "withering"? Some ignored Jane and some gave her withering looks. I want to say that people looked at her in a disapproving way. What other options do I have?

    With respect to the dog, you are right. It needs to be worked on. I deal with the dog attack in a previous chapter. The dog attacks her, but she escapes.
    I hope the dog didn't have rabies.
    Not a professional teacher

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Jane was walking in the run-down neighborhood.

    Even if it didn't have rabies, you should still get a tetanus jab. Al least, they gave me one when bitten by a dog that broke my skin.

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