These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.
You wrote a piece explaining NEVER to use the word "alot".
Well, in your professional opinion, what about the words: 'Alright" as comapred to "all right" and "OK as compared to "Okay"?
Your input would be greatly appreciated.
May grace and peace be with you!
Darren, funny you should ask!
I just THIS MINUTE posted next week's class, which includes a Quick Take on 'ok'. Pop on over to my "Writing Basics" class to see what I think of it. Feel free to jump right in with a response, too.
As for 'alright'--I looked that one up recently, to be sure I was correct. 'Alright' is becoming accepted usage, especially in informal writing. But I don't care for it.
The Grammar Queen Speaketh.
I didn't used to think alright was all right. But I looked it up when I was judging one time just to be sure and was suprised to see that it was alright to use. So use it now. (power of suggestion - I'm weak)
Exhausted, Jan walked into her house at the end of a long day tired. Her work day seeming endless. She slipped off her black shoes at the door and wallows toward the kitchen. All she wanted was an ice-cold soda and something sweet—maybe there was leftover cake in the stainless steel refrigerator.
“Ow!” she exclaimed aloud. Curious she lifted up her left foot to examine what had caused such sudden pain. Embedded firmly in the tender flesh of her heel was one minuscule Lego, left over from her young nephew’s visit the previous day before.
Exhausted, weary, and worn out? sudden, sharp, acute pain? Why say the same thing more then once. Plodded unenthusiastically just stops me in my tracks for a moment you said she was tired of course she's not going to be happy walking into the kitchen to fetch a drink. Sugary saccharine is very unneeded sweet will suffice. Shiny stainless steel, isn't stainless steel normally shiny? unless said otherwise i think of it and see it clean and shinging in the light. it's steel that's what it does so I didn't see the need to have it in there.
JoyAnn, you found lots of the unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and eliminated them for precisely the right reasons.
Your corrected and edited paragraphs have a few issues, which I've noted in red. Care to give them another shot?
Hey Jan, I probably bumbled this one up greatly, but I sincerely had fun doing it
Alice’s Red Queen had nothing on Jan today, running in place, getting nowhere. Shoulders drooped, work shoes dangling in hand; she drudged her way into the kitchen. “Maybe there’s a cold pop and left over cake,” she grumbled aloud, noticing dark smudges on her stainless frig. “Perfect,” she muttered, “Just perfect.”
“Ouch?” She began dancing on one foot. “What the heck?” She lifted her foot – a red Lego fell off leaving a perfect cookie-cutter pattern on her tender heel. “Great,” she murmured.
Sitting on the floor, assessing the damage, the phone began to ring. Her sister’s voice called out before she could get up to answer. “Hey, Jan, it’s me. Bobby had such a good time over to your house yesterday playing Lego that he wants to come over again. Tonight, if it’s not too much trouble. Call me when you get home. Love ya.”
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." From "As You Like It." Wm. Shakespeare.
Here is my first attempt at lesson two. I did not read any work done by other students. I am glad I am reading them now.
Exhausted, Jan walked into her house at the end of a long day at work. She slipped off her shoes at the door and plodded toward the kitchen. All she wanted was a cold soda and a sweet snack from the refrigerator.
“Ow!” she exclaimed. Lifting her foot to examine what had caused the acute pain, she found a minuscule Lego. The Lego was left over from her nephew’s visit the day before.
For extra credit, pick a few of the adjectives or adverbs above and tell why they are unnecessary.
I believe only one of the adjectives exhausted, weary, or worn out was necessary. They all say the same thing. By emphasizing the adjective exhausted the adverb tiredly is not necessary. The adjectives dark and ebony say the same thing without giving a definite color. Unenthusiastically is not necessary because when someone is plodding either they are deep in thought or they are tired. From the sentences one can tell that Jan is tired.
The icy cold was too much. I think just icy would be fine. Something sugary saccharine was an expression I had never heard. The idea of just getting a sweet snack out of the refrigerator is almost a hidden idea amidst a sea of adverbs and adjectives.
Louis, you did a really great job at paring down my unnecessary adjectives!
Now that you've read through a few of the other responses, would you care to attempt a creative re-write of my little scenario?
Here is my rendition, albeit late:
Exhausted, Jan walked into her house at the end of a long day at work. She slipped off her ebony shoes at the door and plodded toward the kitchen. All she wanted was a cold soda and something sugary—maybe there was leftover cake in the stainless steel refrigerator.
“Ow!” she exclaimed. She lifted her left foot to examine what had caused her such sharp pain. Embedded in the tender flesh of her heel was a minuscule Lego, left over from her young nephew’s visit the previous day before.
No need to describe ebony as dark.
Plodding, by definition, is always unenthusiastic, and thus no need for redundancy.
Lifted can only go up.
There are more, but I won't go beyond these.
The Making of Tibias Ivory: Freedom's Quest
by D. Allen Jenkins
ISBN # 1-4137-3670-X
Thanks for your support
Doug, thanks for this homework--this is one class in which lateness doesn't matter in the least.
You did a fine job of trimming up my adjective- and adverb-heavy passage. I'd have snipped a few more: 'ebony' and 'stainless steel' aren't really needed in the first paragraph, and in the second, I could say 'previous day' or 'day before', but its' redundant to say them both.
I hope you'll stop by the other classes--and have you entered the Writing challenge? We're always looking for good writers!
I am new to this site and am eager to learn to write better. I thought it best to start out s a silver member. Although I don't do fiction, I will give this my best effort.
Slowly Jan inserted the key and opened her door. Inside, she dropped her purse on the nearby table and kicked off her shoes. The long monotonous day at work was over and all she wanted was sugar - maybe a soda or a piece of leftover birthday cake.
Without turning on any lights she crossed the room and headed to the kitchen. "Uhn!" She almost crumpled to the floor in pain. Ah, a lego. Apparently the clean up after the birthday party hadn't been very thorough.
Here is my attempt...
Finally arriving home after another endless day at work, Jan left her shoes at the door and plodded heavily into the kitchen in search of junk food, something sweet with no redeeming food value, to hopefully pick up her spirits.
Just inside the doorway she felt a piercing pain in her left heel. A cursory examination revealed one tiny lego missed in her hasty clean up after her nephew’s visit the day before.
Hi Jan. This is a great first topic that Cinnamon Bear suggested I start with after she critiqued one of my writings.
My modified story reads:
After a long day at work, an exhausted Jan walked into her house. She slipped off her shoes and headed toward the kitchen. She wanted a cold soda and something sugary: perhaps the leftover cake?
"Ow!" she exclaimed. She raised her left foot to examine the source of her pain. Embedded into her heel was a mini Lego piece; a leftover from her nephew's visit yesterday.
All the adjectives and adverbs made me exhausted reading the text. The point of the story got buried under many useless words.
Some examples of adjectives and adverbs that are unnecessary and why:
- a long day implies it was seemingly endless
- color of shoe is irrelevant to the story
- where cake is located is irrelevant to the story
- exclaimed loudly says the same thing
- sudden, sharp, and acute pain...only need one or none. The "Ow" implies the three descriptions
This was an enlightening exercise. I look forward to getting into more lessons. Thank you.
Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. -Jude 2 NIV
Well done, Judi! And a good job on the extra credit, too.
The only thing I'd change is your semicolon in the last sentence. A semicolon should be used to separate two independent clauses. One way to test for this is to see if a period could be used there instead. In your case, a leftover from her nephew's visit yesterday is an incomplete sentence, so a semicolon is not correct there.
You did a great job trimming the unnecessary adjectives and adverbs and saving several words. Good tight writing.
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