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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #1

    parable

    Could you, please, proofread the following text?

    The slave owner who had bought Aesop was going to Asia. He decided to save some money on pack animals and told his slaves to distribute the load among themselves and be prepared to carry it on their backs. Among other things, there was a basketful of bread which was heavy enough to be carried by four people. Everybody was surprised when the weak Aesop asked to let him carry it. 'Never have we seen such a stupid person,' said the slaves, 'let him if he wants to.' Aesop walked staggering under the heavy basket, and everybody was laughing at him and calling him names. When they made a stop, the owner said, 'Aesop, give each a loaf of bread.' After that the basket became half-ful, and Aesop was able to straighten up. At their next stop Aesop gave out the rest of the bread and walked light, the others giving him envious looks.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #2

    Re: parable

    I would appreciate it if somebody could edit my writing. Thanks.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: parable

    The slave owner who had bought Aesop was going to Asia. He decided to save some money on pack animals and told his slaves to distribute the load among themselves and be prepared to carry it on their backs. Among other things, there was a basketful of bread which was

    so heavy, it would need four people to carry it.

    Everybody was surprised when the weak Aesop asked

    if he could carry it.
    or
    to be allowed to carry it.

    "Never have we seen such a stupid person", said the slaves. "Let him, if he wants to."

    There's a problem here: I know you mean, he had the basket on his shoulder, walked, and staggered as he did so.
    but
    Aesop walked staggeringly... : ( which is clumsy English, so...)

    Aesop staggered as he walked under the basket: sounds as if he actually walked 'under' the basket itself; whereas the meaning is, he staggered under the weight of the basket.
    Fortunately, 'stagger' means 'walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall', so it includes the idea of motion forward, of walking:

    Aesop staggered under the heavy weight of the basket, and everybody was laughing at him and calling him names. When they made a stop, the owner said, "Aesop. Give each a loaf of bread." After that the basket became half full, and Aesop was able to straighten up. At their next stop, Aesop gave out the rest of the bread and walked lightly, the others giving him envious looks.
    Last edited by David L.; 28-Jul-2008 at 21:10.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #4

    Re: parable

    Thank you very much, David. I felt there was something wrong with how I used 'staggering.' Now it's all clear. Could you explain the punctuation in "Aesop. Give each a loaf of bread"? Why a full stop after Aesop?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: parable

    You are very sharp!
    Aesop is a slave and the slave owner would regard him as a 'commodity' - no personal relationship between them. This distance is a bit similar to the distance that has to be kept between an officer and an enlisted soldier.

    So, with my friend John, I might say (and write it to indicate a personal relationship): "John, may I borrow your..."

    The officer might say: "Sergeant. Have the men fall in."
    or
    "Corporal Smith. Bring your men to attention."

    I was trying to indicate that the slave owner was not so much addressing Aesop as a person, but merely catching his attention by using his name - indicating that he is the slave he is addressing.

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