Correct Or Wrong?

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Correct Or Wrong?

Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

01 Sep 2011, 20:48 #1

I have written fan-fic for many, many years. Don't ask, because I'll feel very, very old if I have to tell you how long. <_<

Anyway, I have some ... phrases that I like to use (and that others out there use too, I'll bet) and I keep wondering if they're right or wrong. So, as I come up with them, I'll add them to this thread and hopefully some kindhearted spirit of the English language out there can tell me whether I'm doing this right or not. :D

Here goes:

1. He wrapped his hands around her throat, cutting off her air.
Or is it: He wrapped his hands around her neck, cutting off her air.

Which one of these two is the most correct? The way I see it, neck is the back, throat is the front, but then again ... throat is also the inside. What is correct? When I read the second version, I envision that he wraps his hands around the back of her neck, which won't do him much good if he wants to strangle her. But that may just simply be a misconception on my part. So ... can anyone tell me which one is correct?
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aislinn
Demon Hunter
aislinn
Demon Hunter
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 17:57

01 Sep 2011, 21:43 #2

After reading your thoughts on this I would say throat.




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Angel325girl
Seasoned Hunter
Angel325girl
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 02:13

01 Sep 2011, 23:21 #3

I would think throat but you could maybe throw both in there like "his hands moved up/down to her neck as his fingers wrapped around her throat, cutting off her air" That may sound too long of a sentence though and when I was in school my teachers always told me to try and shorten all my sentences. I would still use throat. It makes more sense and flows better I think then the other way but that could be just me.
Under The Dome Meets Supernatural! What all can happen in one dome? Or as Roy may call it. Inside The Magic Circle? No one like a smartypants Roy


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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

02 Sep 2011, 06:19 #4

Thank you for your insight. I personally like throat better. It sounds more right. But you never know. :D
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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

02 Sep 2011, 13:57 #5

So, here's the next one that trips me up when I write:

Is someone on your tail or on your trail?

Technically, both could be right, I guess. But ... which one is the real one?

From what I've been able to find in various dictionaries, it's tail, but then I've also seen trail used, which makes me wonder if both are right or if it's just one or the other.
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bjxmas
Vampire
Joined: 16 Nov 2005, 20:53

02 Sep 2011, 14:15 #6

:wave

Hey, Cathy! Awesome idea for a thread, so many things trip me up as a writer. Dictionary is my best friend since I tend towards using the wrong word and needing the reinforcement that I'm right.

These you present are a little harder to look up.

I'd say that your intent is the defining factor here (along with your personal preference). On your tail to me means dogging you, following you, on the trail to catching you.

A-ha...see how I morphed into on your trail? :blink:

So if they are literally tracking you, then you could say they are on your trail, following your every move, retracing your steps.

Hence, I think you could technically use both or either, depending on the tone and purpose of what you want to say.

I think I was successfully noncommittal there... perhaps I should look into the possibility of entering politics? :lol:

Good to see you here, stick around come the start of S7, okay? :hug:

B.J.

:hug


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Angel325girl
Seasoned Hunter
Angel325girl
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 02:13

02 Sep 2011, 16:47 #7

I would use both too but it depends which flows better. I mean they both can but what sounds more like it fits to the tone of the story/paragraph like Bj said. You would just know which one pops out to you if you read both scenarios and try to imagine which one sounds more imaginable for your characters/story. I know this is what I do too.

This is what I think the difference is though. Trailing you means they're following you and a little farther away as tailing you means they're a little more closer like right on your heels or around the corner. lol
Under The Dome Meets Supernatural! What all can happen in one dome? Or as Roy may call it. Inside The Magic Circle? No one like a smartypants Roy


Never Forget

by HighVoltagerock
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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

02 Sep 2011, 16:51 #8

Ah, so I didn't do anything wrong when I use on your trail. :lol: Good to know.

And don't worry, BJ, I'm around. I'm just not very active right now. I'm working on a story. :fire

Got a bit of an issue, though. I have no living clue what to call the damned thing. :D I'm already 5 pages into it and still no title. :blink:

Which brings me to my next brain-twister:

When you spell something out for someone, can you 'cut it out in cardboard'? It's a commonly used term in Denmark (in Danish) but that doesn't mean you can use it in English. I've used it in a few stories and recently an American colleague said he had no clue what I meant when I used that term. Now, let's be fair, he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it just tripped me up a little. So ... can you actually say that in English?
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Irishgirl
Usual Suspect
Irishgirl
Usual Suspect
Joined: 16 Sep 2006, 00:23

02 Sep 2011, 21:31 #9

Cool thread, Cathy.

I've never heard of that expression until now. You can use it, but your readers might not know what you mean.




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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

02 Sep 2011, 22:30 #10

Thought so. :D Thanks Irish. It's just funny that nobody's ever mentioned not understanding it. I've used it a few times. :lol: My poor readers. They must think I'm wacko. :D

And here's another one:

Trip the light fantastic.

I know what the phrase means and I've always thought it was kinda cool, but is it common or won't most people know what it means? I don't see it being used in connection with Supernatural since the boys don't really do a whole lot of dancing, but ... still. It sounds kinda exotic. B)
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bjxmas
Vampire
Joined: 16 Nov 2005, 20:53

08 Sep 2011, 19:48 #11

I think most understand the term 'trip the light fantastic' but it's something that I probably wouldn't use...like you said, not too relevant to the boys! :lol:

Of course, if you were writing a crack!fic then I'd say go for it if you like the phrase...besides, it might be your only chance to use it in relation to Sam and Dean! :D

Cathy, I expect to see you in the Frustrated thread once the new season starts! And I totally get the writing and preoccupied bit, that's me 90% of the time. I've got too many ideas and stories in the works and not enough time to finish them out or post. :blink:

B.J.

:hug


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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

09 Sep 2011, 06:44 #12

Thanks for the feeback BJ. :D Always appreciated. And no, I really can't see this being used in connection with the boys unless we're talking alternate universe or some such fun.

:blink: Damn, I just had another one, but it slipped away again. I'll be back when I remember it. :D
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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

11 Sep 2011, 20:36 #13

Okay, this one isn't correct or wrong, but more a question of how you would say it.

If you've been sitting down on a hard surface for too long, your butt can get kinda achy. Now, in Danish we have a specific word for that, which is hard to translate. Does that exist in English?

Let me make an example:

After sitting on the hard bench for hours without end, he was beginning to ... what? What would you say there? It seems kinda coarse to say his butt was asleep or achy.

The Danish expression is that the hard surface gives you a 'wooden taste in your butt', which is why I'm claiming it's hard to translate. Also ... I kinda think that could be misunderstood. :lol: So ... any help?
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bjxmas
Vampire
Joined: 16 Nov 2005, 20:53

12 Sep 2011, 00:51 #14

:lol:

The danish sure do have interesting sayings! :D

I can't think of anything specific...but I'd say something like, He was beginning to ache in all the wrong places. Or he was stiff and sore from sitting too long. Or simply that his butt hurt from sitting on a hard surface too long.

Basically, I think I'd try to avoid the subject and not be faced with this quandary. ;)

It is fascinating hearing what other people around the world say. I'm lazy and American so I don't have to try and figure out translations. I know my friends in England who write have to change certain things to Americanize them. I'm lucky and don't have to. :ph43r:

B.J.

:hug


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Cathy1967
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Cathy1967

12 Sep 2011, 21:33 #15

Yeah, we do, don't we? :lol: Sometimes I wonder where some of them come from. Like one that I've never really understood the meaning of and have been too lazy to look up: If it rains on the preacher it drips on the parish clerk. :blink: What? :unsure: Anyway ...

I've gone with a less descriptive way of indicating a ... uhm ... lack of blood circulation in certain areas. :lol:

I'll be back once I stumble across the next one ... hmm ... which I just did.

Do you stumble across or over a fact? Or can both be used?
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