Azhong's Writing Practice.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-01, 4:54

An enquiry please: How much is the adverb “slowly”, as a modifier to “climb up”, emphasized respectively at the four positions?
1)The huge snake emerged to slowly climb up Vordemort’s chair.
2)The huge snake emerged to climb slowly up Vordemort’s chair. (by J. K. Rowling)
3)The huge snake emerged to climb up slowly Vordemort’s chair.
4)The huge snake emerged to climb up Vordemort’s chair slowly.

And my conjecture that needs your comments:
a) S4 is improper to me; “slowly” here might refer to “emerge” but not “climb up”, is it not?
b) The emphasis: S1 > S2 > S3? i.e. the more front “slowly” stands among the three positions, the more it is emphasized.
Am I correct or not? Thank you in advance for your reply.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-03, 7:35

(Two practice passages.)
1)
A vacation is, indeed, a dish of sweet dessert, which it barely is.

Almost all people dream for a vacation, better if it’s long, exotic, fun, with convenient transportation at day, a feast buffet for every dinner, and a cozy bed plus a bathtub in a well-decorated room. And how better it would be if there is, as an unexpected bonus, a romance without adverse effects to stumble on.

To travel along is very different from that with companions, and so is to plan a travel itinerary by yourself from to have a tour guide entrusted. Do you prefer cooking at home or dinning at a star restaurant?

2)
Harry Potter was going to have a life-threatening trip in his coming school year with his best friends Ron and Hermione. They were to seek and destroy the rest Horcruxes of Voldemort. And that was why he was thoroughly emptying his school trunk, which he never did since he had packed it for the first time. He needed to pack his luggage again prudently for the coming adventure, which was by no means cozy and safe. He plunged his right hand into his trunk, felt a stabbing pain suddenly, and withdrew it to see one of his fingers bleeding. He had probably grabbed at something sharp in the debris left at the trunk bottom over time.

On his way dashing toward the bathroom, he trod on a cup of cold tea – why, he had no idea - sitting there on the landing floor outside his bedroom door. The cup broke with a crunch of china, the tea inside spreading. With his uninjured hand, Harry used a large wad of toilet paper to mop up the tea, scraped the fragments of cup together and threw them into a bin.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-04, 5:52

(my practices.)
1) In Nick's coffee shop
At first, the two customers were chuckling. Then, their glee escalating, they started to chortle. Nick looked up in time to see the one in a tank top was swinging his fist toward his buddy. And the buddy didn’t defend nor duck; he sat straight to accept what he was to be bestowed. A playful punch, naturally: the fist slowed down obviously as it approached. Then, the fist was kept holding against the cheek it had attacked. It was not yet retracted even when at last, smiling, Nick drew his attention back to his chores. The soapy forks and mugs in the sink hit one another and clinked, far more softly than the way rods and bats collided in a gang fight.

2) To rewrite a scene in ch1, HP7
He was drawn to the strangest feature of the scene. An apparently unconscious human figure was hanging upside down and revolving slowly as if suspended by an invisible rope. It reflected in the gilded mirror on the mantelpiece and in the polished surface of the ornate table beneath. None of the people in the room, all sitting silently around the table, was looking at the singular sight except for a pale, young man. He sat almost directly below it and seemed unable to prevent himself from glancing upward every couple of minutes.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-05, 10:43

(My practice.)

He had not at all moved since I entered, but just stared blankly into the distance with an apparently thoughtful expression. Under the ceiling a hanging fan was revolving slowly. Outside the window the dusk was leaving, the night ready to be in its stead.
“There are still so many things I must attend to,” he sighed. "So many problems I have to solve in person. I am exhausted.”
Resuming his sad stare, he seemed to be more speaking to himself than to me.
“That my company has gone bankrupt is due more to my errors than to the economic slump,” he went on. “I was greedy, and so was too aggressive in my investment.”

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-06, 4:50

(My practice.)
A new chore after I lived alone was to do the laundry. The place I rented had no washing machine but just a small space, originally a kitchen, where sat a rectangular sink and a dehydrator. And that was the laundry room for all the floormates, ten boys or so, to wash our clothes by hand.

Despite a high school boy, I enjoyed the routine task after my own fashion: singing under my breath meanwhile. The light physical labor helped me to unwind from pressure of heavy homework and of my new life in an unfamiliar city, and unwind from an adolescent boy’s restlessness which seemed ready to overflow and flood any time. As a usual result, I involuntarily immersed more in the melody out of my mouth as if I had been a TV star performing with my pure, god-blessed voice.

This day, my roommate Wang showed up at the threshold of the laundry room.

Me and Wang were classmates and we shared a room. It was small; there was almost no extra space after an iron bunk bed and two desks were crammed in. If one of us was doing some push-ups on the aisle, the only possible position in addition to the bed, the movement of the other person would have to be suspended. Luckily, we were young then, and youth was something very flexible. I have forgotten who slept in which bunk. Wang got his PhD degree in the United States later and is now a professor somewhere, leading a happy family with twin daughters. His excellence is not surprising; he was already diligent then. Before appearing, he was decidedly doing nothing but studying in the room.

“Hey,” Wang said, smiling. “Your horrible yells could be already heard all the floor.”

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-07, 3:06

Some inquiries about the sentence below:
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth;[1] whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses,[2] and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me,[3] that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.(Mobi Dick published in 1851 by Herman Melville)

[1]: Would the semicolon “;” be better replaced with a comma “,” in contemporary English punctuation since it is separating subordinate clauses but not main clauses? Or is the semicolon still grammatical and preferred in order to keep the very long sentence clearer?
[2] The comma before “and” seems to be still grammatical but already habitually omitted now? Is the omission a historical evolution?
[3] I think the comma before a relative clause is no longer grammatical in contemporary English.

Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which[1] a few hours previous[2] were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.

[1] What does which refer to here? It should be something plural according to its verb "were"? But how can breezes be in or out sight?
[2] "A few hours previous" seems ungrammatical now?

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Dormouse559 » 2021-05-07, 8:22

azhong wrote:[1]: Would the semicolon “;” be better replaced with a comma “,” in contemporary English punctuation since it is separating subordinate clauses but not main clauses? Or is the semicolon still grammatical and preferred in order to keep the very long sentence clearer?

The semicolons are the best choice for keeping complex list items clear, especially since some of the items contain commas. The fact that the list items are subordinates doesn't have much bearing.

[2] The comma before “and” seems to be still grammatical but already habitually omitted now? Is the omission a historical evolution?

Usage isn't uniform in this case. It is true that the style guides I know wouldn't typically put a comma there (except to improve readability), but it's easy to find real-world examples to the contrary.

[3] I think the comma before a relative clause is no longer grammatical in contemporary English.

That isn't a relative clause; it's a subordinate clause expressing the result of the speaker's hypos. That said, that is a less common place to put a comma.

[1] What does which refer to here? It should be something plural according to its verb "were"? But how can breezes be in or out sight?

"Which" probably refers to the waves. However, you can sometimes talk about "seeing" wind in terms of its effects on the environment.

[2] "A few hours previous" seems ungrammatical now?

Not at all. For me, "previous" as an adverb sounds a little elevated.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-08, 7:17

(My practice: a mimicry.)

Call me Jogboy. I love jogging. Whenever I feel bored and nothing particular indoors to interest me, and it happens not to be raining outside; whenever I measure my waist with a tape measure in the morning and find its size, having nourished unconsciously by feasts over feasts, is evilly, sneakily increasing; whenever I feel drowsy after studying for hours when a complex sentence on the computer screen turns tougher to conquer even though I have repeatedly tried, my eyes are getting sore and itchy, and my straight back has gone and I am recumbent in the chair; and especially whenever I stumbled on a social relationship and a dark cloud inside me seems ready to apply an emotional storm which will impact innocent folks around me – then, I count it high time to put on my jogging shoes. While those rich pay a large wad of paper money to their insurance companies, family doctors, psychologists, and private coaches to keep themselves as away from their coffins and tombs as they possibly can, I buy a pair of shoes economically.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2021-05-08, 23:00

azhong wrote:Whenever I feel bored and there is nothing particular indoors to interest me, and it happens not to be raining outside; whenever I measure my waist with a tape measure in the morning and find its size, having been nourished unconsciously by feasts overon top of feasts, is evilly, sneakily increasing; whenever I feel drowsy after studying for hours whenand a complex sentence on the computer screen turns tougher to conquer even though I have repeatedly tried, my eyes are getting sore and itchy, and my straight back has gone and I am recumbent in the chair; and especially whenever I have stumbled onin a social relationship and a dark cloud inside me seems ready to apply an emotional storm which will impact innocent folks around me – then, I count it high time to put on my jogging shoes. While thosethe rich pay a large wad of paper money to their insurance companies, family doctors, psychologists, and private coaches to keep themselves as far away from their coffins and tombs as they possibly can, I buy a pair of shoes economically.

It sounds odd to specify "paper money" in the last sentence. Who pays insurance companies in cash?

Also, the placement of "themselves" in that sentence makes it sound like the private coaches, psychologist, etc. are working to keep themselves out of the tomb and not their rich clients.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-09, 5:36

(My practice.)

I went jogging before the traffic hours yesterday morning as usual. It was windy thus a bit chilly at first, but the lower temperature turned proper and cozy soon after I started to sweat on my back. I jogged alone toward the suburb. When passing through the cemetery, I was barked by stray dogs long-staying there, who chased after me for a short distance.
Whenever I jog or bike, I often feel embarrassed seeing fans of different species welcoming me fervidly with their adoration, especially when they must sacrifice their sleep. And they are unexceptionally shy; when I pause, just turn my head intending to express my sincere appreciation, all scatter away in the next second. I might use Google Translator trying to communicate with them but the problem is I never bring my cell phone with me when taking my sport.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-05-19, 15:52

(See the quotaion below.)
Last edited by azhong on 2021-06-03, 5:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2021-05-20, 13:55

azhong wrote:To me, linguistics, or just language-learning, means communication intrinsically.

I get what you're saying here, but this is a very odd way to phrase it. I'd prefer to say "Communication is intrinsic to language learning".

azhong wrote:And communication implies positive efforts to understand each other. To approach that, open-minded discussions are helpful, but quarrels, criticism and attacks are not.

As the prefix "uni-" of Unilang hints, it deserves my efforts to make us all closer and become family.

"Deserve" is rarely used of inanimates, so using it in reference to "Unilang" is awkward. I know this is only a metonym for "the members of Unilang", but that being the case, I would replace "it" with an explicitly human subject like "the people here" or "you all".

azhong wrote:Arguments will rarely get to that way. And I should not pollute the elegant, delicate wisdom of human beings I have learned here, nor mis-use the power I have gained from all of you.

Unless you believe in supernatural beings, "wisdom" is considered an intrinsically and uniquely human quality, so the qualifier is unnecessary (and confusing, since it makes the relative clause ambiguous).
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-06-02, 3:30

(See the quotation below.)
Last edited by azhong on 2021-06-03, 5:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-06-02, 3:52

azhong wrote:(My practice, a dialogue between two persons. I've omitted all the quotation marks.)

Why have you omitted all the quotation marks? But anyway....

azhong wrote:What did he say?
What did who say?
The one driving their RV at the very beginning of the film we saw last evening, the healthy one with the bushy mustache. What was his first word, also the first line of the film, something like I don’t know why you didn’t let me help pack your luggage? Can pack be a verb?
Yes, but if I am correct, it’s I don’t know why you didn’t let me pack for you, and it was not the first line. The first line was we’re not going back, you know.
Oh? Okay* then, since your memory never goes wrong.
Thank you but it’s untrue. My memory goes wrong as often as yours does.
How to name What is the name of the disease in English his couple was getting?**
Dementia. Dementia was starting to take hold of him.
…Is it combined with the prefix de and the stem mentia? Mentia sounds similar to mental.
Actually not, unluckily***. The word is from Latin. It is combined with dement and ia. Dement is also an English word; it means mad originally in Latin, but means now in English to deteriorate mentally. -Ia is a noun ending, for countries, flowers, diseases, etc.
California? And Bulgaria? And Yugoslavia.
Right.
Why didn’t you let me pack for you…why didn’t you let me help pack your luggage…no help, nor luggage…pack for you…okay, I think I’ve roughly understood the sentence. Thank you for the language talk over our breakfast. Why don’t you let me do the dishes for you?
Do you mean it or are you just making a sentence?


*Okey is possible, but okay is much more common.
**I don't understand what you want to say here ("...his couple was getting"). I would also probably move "in English" to a different position in the sentence and say "...disease he had" in place of "disease he was getting", but since I'm not sure what you mean by "his couple", it's difficult for me to suggest an alternative sentence.
***"Unfortunately" would sound better than "unluckily" here, although it sounds a bit strange either way. (Why is it unlucky or unfortunate that this is not what it means? I guess it is just because his guess is incorrect, but it sounds odd to say it this way, kind of overly dramatic.)

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-06-02, 5:17

(See the quotation below.)
Last edited by azhong on 2021-06-03, 5:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-06-02, 5:36

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:
azhong wrote:(My practice, a dialogue between two persons. I've omitted all the quotation marks.)

Why have you omitted all the quotation marks? But anyway....

Being lazy on one hand, and my right shoulder is being inflamed now for having keying too much. :(

Linguaphile wrote:**I don't understand what you want to say here ("...his couple was getting"). I would also probably move "in English" to a different position in the sentence and say "...disease he had" in place of "disease he was getting",

Is the new position of in English the best?
What's the name of the disease his partner had in English?

Yes, "partner" is good and the word order is good as well.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-06-03, 5:19

(My practice: a dialogue.)

”The film started with a motionless close-up, and it lasted for a period of seconds much longer than you need to recognize it was a pair of hands. Seemingly, the director was deliberate to halt and invite the audience to linger at the frame. Overlapping each other, the hands lay peacefully on a white bedding beg, which became aesthetically a simple background and brought out the focus even more. The clear wrinkles over the thick fingers told us the hands belonged obviously to an aged male, who was lying still under the quilt. While associating the whiteness of the quilt with hospital and ill, you also saw the quilt was slightly waving due to his almost imperceptible breath, thus making sure it was not a dead body.”

”Strictly speaking, that was not the first frame. The first frame was the sky in a total dark.”

”Oh yes, you are right, and it was accompanied with piano music. The music was slow and serene at first, but soon started speeding up and increasing its loudness while tiny white spots, stars, showed up more and more. Meanwhile, a lasting string sound faded in to join the piano bringing an inharmonious chord and thus a fidget atmosphere. All the sound ceased suddenly, the vast star sky faded out and, in pure silence, the close-up of the hands faded in. It is probably a design in cutting, introducing a visual and auditory contrast.”

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Rí.na.dTeangacha » 2021-06-03, 8:20

azhong wrote:(My practice: a dialogue.)

”The film started with a motionless close-up, and it lasted for a period of seconds much longer than you need to recognize it was a pair of hands. Seemingly, the director was deliberate to halt and invite
deliberately halted and invited the audience to linger at[1] the frame. Overlapping each other, the hands lay peacefully on a white bedding beg[2], which became aesthetically a simple background and brought out the focus[3] even more. The clear wrinkles over the thick fingers told us the hands belonged obviously to an aged male, who was lying still under the quilt. While associating the whiteness of the quilt with hospital and ill[4], you also saw the quilt was slightly waving due to his almost imperceptible breath, thus making sure[5] it was not a dead body.”

”Strictly speaking, that was not the first frame. The first frame was the sky in a total dark[6].”

”Oh yes, you are right, and it was accompanied with piano music. The music was slow and serene at first, but soon started speeding up and increasing its loudness while tiny white spots, stars, showed up[7] more and more. Meanwhile, a lasting string sound[8] faded in to join the piano bringing an inharmonious chord and thus a fidget[9] atmosphere. All the sound ceased suddenly, the vast star sky faded out and, in pure silence, the close-up of the hands faded in. It is probably a design[10] in cutting, introducing a visual and auditory contrast.”


Notes:
    [1] When talking about keeping one's attention focused on something, I'd tend to say "linger on". "Linger at" is something I'd say if we were talking about a person physically staying at a position (rather than just focusing their attention there). However, I suppose you could use it this way in a metaphorical sense, invoking the idea that the audience is somehow physically "at" the scene, just be aware that it sounds a little more poetic (which I wouldn't say is out of place in your text, to be honest).

    [2] I assume you mean "bed", not "beg". a "white bedding bed" sounds off, I would just simplify it to "a white bed", it's obvious that this means that the bedding is white in this case.

    [3] I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "brought out the focus" here. To "bring something out" means to draw it out, extract it, cause it to come out or be apparent. I have a feeling what you want to say here is "brought it into focus", which would mean that the focus became clearer or more intense (due to the white background). The difference is slight, but "brought out" sounds like it was something that was already there, but that it became more noticeable because of something else (e.g. "that make-up really brings out the colour in your eyes!" - the colour was already there, but it's more obvious now).

    [4] "with hospitals and illness" - we usually use the plural if we're making generalisations in English (e.g. "Penguins are flightless birds"), and "ill" is an adjective, whereas you need a noun here.

    [5] "indicating" is better than "making sure". "Make sure" can have two meanings - (1) to verify, check that something is the case. (2) to arrange it so that something is or will be the case. An example of meaning 1: "Make sure there are no children in the street before you reverse out of your driveway", and with meaning 2: "Make sure you finish your homework by the time I get home tonight!". The quilt waving doesn't arrange for the person not to be dead, nor does it go and check if they're dead or not, it indicates to us that they are not dead.

    [6] "in total darkness"

    [7] It's not wrong, per se, to say "showed up" here, but I think "appeared" is better with inanimate objects. "Show up" for me usually (but not always) implies volition on the part of the person or thing showing up.

    [8] I can't put my finger on why "lasting" doesn't sound right here, but it doesn't sound right to me. Maybe "drawn-out string sound" would be better.

    [9] "tense atmosphere" I think is what you want here.

    [10] Maybe you mean "and exercise in cutting..."?
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-06-04, 13:13

(My practice: a dialogue roughly following the previous one.)

”The night sky as a beginning, boundless under an extreme long shot; then a close-up, a pair of hands no longer smooth; and then the scene I am gonna tell now. All the three together function as a prelude of music for me. They reveal vaguely what the story is about without exercising any lines or motion."

(A short silence when he waited, but the other one said nothing. So he went on.)

”Following the second shot, the third remained motionless and silent. The atmosphere, however, turned more heartwarming as it meanwhile also delivered a clearer message: the film would be gay-themed. A medium shot at a higher angle was selected to show a psychologically cozy view: two asleep male adults curving in bed, sharing a quilt, in the morning when the moderate light had fully lightened the room. They both slept on their left sides, one intimately hugging the other from the back. Artistic but reserved, the frame told us the hugger was fully naked, and the hugged upper-body naked at least."

“The frame looked like an oil painting of neoclassicism, the realistic style in late eighteen centuries.”

“Oh? It's a pity I don’t know much about the history of Western art. For me, the frame seems a bait to attract the folk in favor of the special theme while a warning to another folk. ‘Be cautious, you’re going to enter an adult website where there may include photos and videos of nudes and more. Please leave now if you are under eighteen or dislike to watch them,’ something like that.”

“An interesting association.”

“Of the frame, anyway, the brightness, the silence, the shot arrangement and the actors’ postures constructed together a mood of intimacy; it stood in place of the earlier tense mood and soothed the audiences.”

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-06-04, 13:25

azhong wrote:(My practice: a dialogue roughly following the previous one.)

”The night sky as a beginning, boundless under an extreme long shot; then a close-up, a pair of hands no longer smooth; and then the scene I am gonna tell now. All the three together function as a prelude of music [better: like a musical prelude ] for me. They reveal vaguely what the story is about without exercising any lines or motion."

(A short silence when he waited, but the other one said nothing. So he went on.)

”Following the second shot, the third remained motionless and silent. The atmosphere, however, turned more heartwarming as it meanwhile also delivered a clearer message: the film would be gay-themed. A medium shot at a higher angle was selected to show a psychologically cozy view: two asleep male adults [better: sleeping adult males ] curving in bed, sharing a quilt, in the morning when the moderate light had fully lightened the room. They both slept on their left sides, one intimately hugging the other from the back. Artistic but reserved, the frame told us the hugger was fully naked, and the hugged upper-body naked at least."

“The frame looked like an oil painting of neoclassicism, the realistic style in the late eighteenth century.”

“Oh? It's a pity I don’t know much about the history of Western art. For me, the frame seems a bait to attract the folk [better: the people or those] in favor of the special theme while a warning to others. ‘Be cautious, you’re going to enter an adult website where there may include photos and videos of nudes and more. Please leave now if you are under eighteen or dislike to watch them,’ something like that.”

“An interesting association.”

“Of the frame, anyway, the brightness, the silence, the shot arrangement and the actors’ postures constructed together a mood of intimacy; it stood in place of the earlier tense mood and soothed the audiences.”


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