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A Dependent Clause as an Independent One in Dialogue

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Rabelaisian, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    “Bro, it would be an honour and a pleasure,” he says. “Not to mention a huge asset to my career credentials if and when we win this thing.”

    The sentence proceeding "says" is not grammatically standalone, yet I feel a distinct pause and hear an inflection of tone in the dialogue between "pleasure" and "Not" that I don't think would be achieved by writing it as a subordinate clause. So is it okay that I'm not connecting it to "says" with a comma, as if both sentences were really just one long sentence, holding the second half (beginning with "not") to being a dependent clause, like so?

    “Bro, it would be an honour and a pleasure,” he says, “not to mention a huge asset to my career credentials if and when we win this thing.”

    It seems too connected to me that way, given what I want it to sound like.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    Please name your source, Rabelaisian.
     
  3. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    It's mine.
     
  4. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    What is your intent?
    As a reader, I would probably completely ignore the difference you are describing. Both options interrupt the reader with "he says" so, whether the writer likes it or not, the reader sees/hears a pause in the words of the speaker. If you want the reader to experience a longer break than currently exists,you would need to add after "he says" something like - "and then he adds, almost as an afterthought" or whatever sense you intend. The subtelty of comma or period after "says" is minuscule. If you want the reader to experience little or no pause after "pleasure" you need to get the "he says" out of there :D
     
  5. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    I definitely want the pause. Are you saying you'd go with number two, then?

    Thanks.
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Either one achieves the intent. As I said, as a reader, I wouldn't notice and I don't see either as incorrect.
     
  7. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    Oh, okay, then. But in strict grammar that first one is incorrect, if we were to get all formal about it, isn't it, given it's a fragment?
     
  8. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    It's speech. It doesn't always follow the strict grammar rules of formal written English, nor do people specify the punctuation they wish to be used in transcription of their words or speak in 100% grammatically correct utterances :D. Something about mountains out of molehills :eek: :)
     

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