A raging fire swept through the block and decimated most of the neighborhood. Would the reader then understand ten buildings were gone?
Only if there were originally 100 buildings in the neighborhood, since to decimate is to destroy one-tenth. So it's really problematic to write "...decimated most of..." since one-tenth is NOT most of anything. You could write "A raging fire swept through the block and decimated the neighborhood." The reader should understand that a tenth of the neighborhood was burned. However, I should note that this is a usage that is disappearing, and that many dictionaries now accept 'destroyed' as a definition for 'decimated.'
lish1936 wrote:The enormity of the rapists actions overwhelmed the entire community.
This would be correct, with an apostrophe in rapist's
lish1936 wrote:This word is especially challenging because it's a synonym and easy for me to confuse the two.
My dog, Gunther, walked on his two hind legs, but the bow tie that hung around his neck made him even more discrete. Does that make sense?
I'm afraid I'm not really following this one. Try again, please?
lish1936 wrote:Marly anxiously peered around the curtain, not knowing whether she would find Pete dead or alive.
This works for me.
Now for the questions.
I'm having a hard time writing a sentence with the proper use of the word disinterested.
I think it's because in my head disinterested and uninterested have the same meaning. Could you please write a sentence using both of these words?
The writing contest will be judged by a disinterested (unbiased, fair, not influenced) reader who is familiar with short stories. She likes to read romance and history, but she is uninterested (bored) in science fiction or fantasy.
lish1936 wrote:Also, what is the proper way to use "into" and "in to," or is there no such distinction?
Jan ran into the ocean. (She was on the beach before she got there.)
Jan ran in the ocean. (She was already there, and she saw a shark, and she started running.)
lish1936 wrote:Thanks, and ever grateful for this lesson.