Punctuation of a sentence...

Nunty

Modified
Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
... or "Revenge of the Independent Clauses".

Hello, everyone. This is from a translation about a young people's instrumental music competition.

This is my starting point:
The performances were public; excited relatives, friends, and teachers came and went in the Hall, as some of the competitors were trying to warm their fingers; others, to relax. Some practiced their piece one last time; others calmly listened to the other contestants performing.
It is unwieldy and generally ixa. Here is one attempt at fixing it:

The performances were public, and excited relatives, friends, and teachers came and went in the Hall. Some of the competitors tried to warm their fingers; others, to relax. Some practiced their piece one last time; others calmly listened to the other contestants performing.
Is that any better?

It's a translation, so I can change it somewhat, but not too much.

Thanks for your input.
:)



 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Your suggested version reads much less ixa than the original (whatever ixa means - it sounds negative). The original contains more than the writer's weekly allowance of semicolons. These should be rationed.

    You could try even more short sentences, though it begins to become a bit rapid-fire.

    Those contestants warming their fingers - were they cold or were they really warming up their fingers in the way that athletes warm up before strenuous exercise (I do it myself every time).
    Some of the contestants warmed up their fingers ...
    Hmmm, I'm not sure I like that much.
     

    TheMagician

    Member
    English, England
    Nun-Translator,

    The new version makes perfect sense, and it is stylistically simpler because it only has one ";" in each sentence.

    My only suggestion might be to change one of the sentences to use "while" rather than a semicolon e.g.

    "Some... tried to warm their fingers while others relaxed." or
    "one last time while others calmly..."

    but your version works fine.

    Hope this helps
    Is there anything you can do with
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Thank you, Panj and Maj. (Sorry, TheMagician. I couldn't help myself.) "Ixa" means "yucky" in Hebrew. Should have stuck to English. Sorry.

    By the way, they really were warming their fingers. The hall had no central heating and was very, very cold. Should I phrase that some other way to make it more clear?
    :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    No need to change the warming part, though if you feel you should, you could say "... warm their cold fingers ..."
    But I don't think there is much chance of misunderstanding. Only picky people looking for possible posts would point that out.
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Thanks again to both of you. Since all the picky people are over here in the forums, I'll leave the warming bit as it is.
    :)
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    During the public performances in the Hall, friends, teachers and excited relatives came and went. Some competitors tried to warm their fingers, some tried to relax; some practised their piece one last time, some calmly listened to the other contestants performing.

    I think this is still a bit ixa (great new word - shall use it lots!), but Maj's use of while definitely helps. You're on the right lines with your version too. Panj is right (as always!) about the sentence length: ideally one would vary between short and complex to give interest to the prose (AE proze?!;)).


    Note spelling of practise - I'm a picker of winkles remember. But on reflection this may be a BE thing. Or maybe even just me. ixa.
     
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