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Editorial Question

BlarghyBlarghy Registered User regular
So, I sometimes have to read over pamphlets/reports/books/etc that my friends write and give feedback. I'm not a professional editor or anything, so I have a question about something that I've noticed but don't really know how to concisely phrase (the person in question is someone that needs things explained simply in a way they can later google for follow up info if you want something you say to stick). One thing I've noticed that one of them tends to do is almost always have their sentences structured as something like:

1) Lunging forward, Bob suddenly grabbed the item.

as opposed to:

2) Bob lunged forward to suddenly grab the item.

Now, 1) is a perfectly valid way to do write things at times and can be very effective to convey certain ideas. However, when its used in almost every sentence, it gets a bit tiresome and repetitive. Is there a formal editorial or grammar term that defines the structure of sentence type 1)? I can convey the issue of repetitiveness easily enough, but I'm looking to see if sentence 1) has some easily google-able terminology associated with defining that "type" of sentence structure.





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    SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Grab the hottest iron you can find, stride in the Tower’s front door Registered User regular
    Blarghy wrote: »
    So, I sometimes have to read over pamphlets/reports/books/etc that my friends write and give feedback. I'm not a professional editor or anything, so I have a question about something that I've noticed but don't really know how to concisely phrase (the person in question is someone that needs things explained simply in a way they can later google for follow up info if you want something you say to stick). One thing I've noticed that one of them tends to do is almost always have their sentences structured as something like:

    1) Lunging forward, Bob suddenly grabbed the item.

    as opposed to:

    2) Bob lunged forward to suddenly grab the item.

    Now, 1) is a perfectly valid way to do write things at times and can be very effective to convey certain ideas. However, when its used in almost every sentence, it gets a bit tiresome and repetitive. Is there a formal editorial or grammar term that defines the structure of sentence type 1)? I can convey the issue of repetitiveness easily enough, but I'm looking to see if sentence 1) has some easily google-able terminology associated with defining that "type" of sentence structure.





    You're describing active versus passive voice

    1) is written in passive voice

    Some days Blue wonders why anyone ever bothered making numbers so small; other days she supposes even infinity needs to start somewhere.
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    2) has a split infinitive aaaaaaa

    I know it isn't really a rule but it's like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    You're describing active versus passive voice

    1) is written in passive voice

    No, it isn't.

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    SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Grab the hottest iron you can find, stride in the Tower’s front door Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    You're describing active versus passive voice

    1) is written in passive voice

    No, it isn't.

    Mmm, I wondered. Oh well!

    Some days Blue wonders why anyone ever bothered making numbers so small; other days she supposes even infinity needs to start somewhere.
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Both structures get old if they're used over and over. There needs to be some variety or the writing won't flow well when read.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    "The item was suddenly grabbed" would be passive voice.

    And you should feel free to boldly split as many infinitives as you want! Embrace English! :D

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I guess if I wanted a nice but succinct way to articulate the problem, I'd say something like "the rhythm is repetitive." Good prose has considered and careful timing.

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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    the difference in the two is that the first uses its key verb ('lunge') in a gerund ('ing') form, which is often seen in passive sentences - though in this case it's not passive because the subject-noun is still the person doing the lunging. gerund verbs are weak because they can't really serve in the root or independent clause, which is where you want most of your key action or imagery to happen

    edit: also, yeah. it becomes a bad habit in writing and affects the fluency

    edit edit: i'd write this as 'Bob suddenly lunged at the bag and grabbed it,' because dey ain't nothin wrong with a compound sentence and 'suddenly' is a dumb word to have at the end of an image

    edit edit edit: so apparently it's not called a gerund unless it's used in a noun form ('I like lunging.') the way it's used here is as a present participle. but the same advice stands: it can't be your key verb and it's weaker phras...ing

    bsjezz on
    sC4Q4nq.jpg
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2019
    The main point to consider is if it's like a cat:

    What is the difference between a cat and a sentence?
    A cat has claws at the end of its paws, but a sentence has a pause at the end of its clause
    .

    MichaelLC on
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    OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    For the purposes of googling the term, this is a (present) participle phrase, or participial phrase.

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