10-second review: Thomas Kane: “Good sentences are the sinew of style.” Can you correct the following sentences?
Title: “Sentence makeovers.” Arthur Plotnik. The Writer (December 2004), 15-16. The Writer is a magazine by writers for writers.
Faulty Sentences: Can you improve the following sentences?
1. “She asked what writing was all about, who could answer?” (Run-on sentence)
1a. “She asked what writing was all about, but who could answer?”
2. “Manny could not, in spite of all his training, knowing that the platoon depended on him, even with the enemy in his cross hairs, fire.” (Subject and verb too far apart.)
2a. “Manny could not fire, in spite of all his training, knowing that the platoon depended on him, even with the enemy in his cross hairs.”
3. “There were outcries by the people for more Krispy Kremes.” (Sentence begun with “There”)
3a. “The people cried out for more Krispy Kremes.”
4. “She had a yellow forked tongue. Its papillae were poisonous.” (Strengthen “to have” and “to be” sentences)
4a. “Her tongue unraveled, yellow and forked. Poison oozed from its papillae.”
5. “Suspended from the very catalpa that she had climbed as a child, she saw his body swaying.” (Inconsistent tense)
5a. Suspended from the very catalpa she had climbed as a child, his body swayed in the wind as she caught sight of it..”
6. “About one out of every four or five women of that village get married.” (Subject/Verb agreement)
6a. “About one out of every four or five women of that village gets married.”
7. “The body was discovered in the library; later, the identification was done.” (Passive)
7a. “A homeless woman discovered the body in the library; later, the victim’s father identified it.” (Active)
8. “Because the publisher did not act decisively, the book was not in any position to succeed in the chain stores.” (Double negative)
8a. “Because the publisher waffled, the book crash-landed in the chain stores.”
9. “She was of an opinion that all one could ever be for was truth, and not for any sort of compromise.” (Verbose)
9a. “She favored uncompromising devotion to truth.” (Concise)
Comment: The “fixes” were written by the author. I am not sure I would have “fixed” them in exactly the same way. RayS.