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comma use: maintain its poise, standing, in a drafty time, erect,...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gnihs, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. gnihs Junior Member

    China, Hong Kong
    China: Cantonese;Traditional Chinese
    Hello,

    I feel difficult to read the sentence below as there are many comma. I cannot understand why "in a drafty time" can be inserted in the sentence and why nouns(original poise and standing) can be before it and adjectives(erect, resolute, and assured) can follow it.

    Could anyone tell me how to read it? Thanks in advance.

    To me, it still seems to maintain its original poise, standing, in a drafty time, erect, resolute, and assured.
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Take it slowly.
    To me, it still seems to maintain its original poise, standing, ...
    I would much prefer to change this part of the sentence to:
    To me, it still seems to maintain its original poise and standing ...

    ... in a drafty time, ...

    That is a strange phrase that I do not understand, so I'll leave it alone.

    ... erect, resolute, and assured.
    Adding a series of modifiers at the end is perfectly OK.
    I stood alone at the top of the mountain: quiet, peaceful and freezing.
    So these are fine as they are, though there might be debate about punctuation. As you can see, I used a colon because these modifiers are expanding on the statement in the first part of the sentence.

    To me, it still seems to maintain its original poise and standing in a drafty time: erect, resolute, and assured.
     
  3. gnihs Junior Member

    China, Hong Kong
    China: Cantonese;Traditional Chinese
    It helps me a lot!
    Thanks again.
     
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I see your problem, gnihs.

    Personally, I read this slightly differently from panj.

    I see the underlying idea as:

    To me, it still seems to maintain its original poise. It remains standing, in a drafty time, erect, resolute, and assured.

    So you could re-punctuate it as:

    To me, it still seems to maintain its original poise - standing, in a drafty time, erect, resolute, and assured.

    The fact that panj and I analyse it differently just shows it's not a very clear sentence!
     
  5. Rana_pipiens

    Rana_pipiens Senior Member

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    USA / English
    In a drafty time is an adverbial prepositional phrase. Standing erect, resolute, and assured is a participial phrase. Participial phrases often come at the beginning of sentences, but they don't have to. Another way the sentence could be rearranged is

    "Standing erect, resolute, and assured in a drafty time, it still seems to me to maintain its original poise."

    Like the others, I'm not sure what to make of "in a drafty time" -- usually spaces are drafty, not periods of time. Probably metaphorical -- a time when the winds of change were blowing??
     
  6. elenaurug Junior Member

    Uruguay Spanish
    It seems to me that DRAFTY may be a correct collocation as it refers to IT . It could be kind of statue or column erected in a time when cold wind was blowing hard.
     

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