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Dumb question: how to say 'Giving her her own space' without the duplicate hearse?

Crumbly Writer

Just curious, but I'm trying to figure out how to say this simple sentiment without repeating myself. The double "her" reminds me of hers, the plural of her, which is eerily similar to hearse (don't mind me, I've got an odd mind).

Normally, authors substitute something into the phrase, such as "giving her a taste of her own medicine", or "giving her the room for her own space", but that's not quite what I'm trying to say.

Any suggestions in terms of 'keeping it real'?

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

This sounds almost too simple to suggest.
Perhaps just, 'Give her space'. The 'her own' only adds emphasis. The space could not belong to anyone else.
It may depend on what you lead into it with.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I don't have a problem with "her her" but Ross's suggestion is good.

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Give Apocatequila her own space.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I don't have a problem with "her her"

I don't have any problem with the original version either.
As a point of technical trivia, there are times I would insert a comma between a word being used twice in a row, even where a comma is not usually allowed. That seems like the lesser sin if readers might attempt to interpret the sentence assuming the author made a typo, or they might not "see" the duplicated word because their brains assumed it was a typo.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
mimauk

"her her" is just one example of how strange the English language can be. I like the old chestnut of " how many -ands - can you use in a sentence"

A signwriter is comissioned to make a sign showing " Smith and Son". After completing it, he asks the customer if it is ok. The customer replies - I don't like the spacing between Smith and and and and and Son. ;-)))

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

you could use the person's name for the first her so it becomes (with an example name):

Giving Jenny her own space

By the way, who died to get the hearse in the title?

REP

@Crumbly Writer

Give her space of her own.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Dumb question

There are NO dumb questions, just dumb questioners. :-)

Ross at Play

@mimauk

Smith and and and and and Son

That one's simple enough if you actually want readers to understand it.
Smith and and, and, and and Son

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Your homework, grasshopper, is to find the largest number you can of successive occurrences of 'had' in one meaningful sentence.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

As a point of technical trivia, there are times I would insert a comma between a word being used twice in a row, even where a comma is not usually allowed. That seems like the lesser sin if readers might attempt to interpret the sentence assuming the author made a typo, or they might not "see" the duplicated word because their brains assumed it was a typo.

I've done that before, but in this case, it clearly doesn't belong as "I gave her, her own space" sounds terrible.

Actually awnlee's suggestion seems the most practical, simply insert the person's name instead of the more generic "her", so it'd become "I gave Dawn her own space". That eliminates any confusion, without taking away the initial impact of the sentence.

@Ernest

By the way, who died to get the hearse in the title?

As explained in the first entry, the duplicate her made me think of multiple "hers", which made me think of "hearse[s]", since "hers" is generally interpreted as being the possessive form. As far as who died, clearly the second her, since the first lives on as Dawn. :D

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Your homework, grasshopper, is to find the largest number you can of successive occurrences of 'had' in one meaningful sentence.

But master, when may I stop? Can you beat eleven?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

in this case, it clearly doesn't belong as "I gave her, her own space" sounds terrible.

Agreed. That's why I noted the "point of technical trivia" in a different post.

awnlee's suggestion ... "I gave Dawn her own space"

Actually, I would be willing to award awnlee the Perpetual Award for the Most Practical Post Made Here.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Actually, I would be willing to award awnlee the Perpetual Award for the Most Practical Post Made Here.

Specific usually beats general every time. Readers appreciate detail, as it adds realism to the scene, whereas flowery fluff (excessive descriptions) don't add much. There's a fine line there somewhere, if I could only find it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

flowery fluff (excessive descriptions) don't add much. There's a fine line there somewhere, if I could only find it.

When do descriptions become excessive? Some readers like descriptions that are not necessary, as in many romance novels.
One test for me is whether imagery is original or unexpected. I think most readers always appreciate that.
I've started reading Lolita. It is incredibly hard work - there's almost nothing but original and unexpected imagery - but, Wow!, I know that I'm alive and my brain is functioning while reading it!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

When do descriptions become excessive? Some readers like descriptions that are not necessary, as in many romance novels.
One test for me is whether imagery is original or unexpected. I think most readers always appreciate that.

That's why I said it's a fine line between what's necessary, and which helps the story, and what's excessive and distracts. Generally, it needs to add to the story, developing the characters or fleshing out scenes. If it goes on longer than that, it distracts from the scene being painted and becomes more about the author showing off.

Many authors get away with it, especially those with an extensive background in poetry (who understand the flow and pacing of words, as opposed to us hacks who simply string words together), but most of us aren't quite that clever.

A good key is what you suggested, what's original, helps place the scene and gives the reader a feel for the place, location and scene.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

That's why I said it's a fine line between what's necessary, and which helps the story, and what's excessive and distracts.


So there is no room at all for description which doesn't necessarily help the story but is still neither excessive nor distracting?

I think it unlikely that there is no middle ground.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


So there is no room at all for description which doesn't necessarily help the story but is still neither excessive nor distracting?


I never put it in such stark terms. I was only giving general guidelines. Your mileage may vary under your individual road/creative conditions. If you suspect your description is getting excessive, it probably is. If the scene feels scant and under dressed, then throw some literary clothes over her. If you have a natural feel for language, then give yourself more room to explore, as readers will be more likely to forgive you for experimenting. However, for writers still learning the ropes, less is probably more, so readers can get into the story rather than wrestling with badly worked descriptions.

However, all that said, providing enough description for readers to get a feel for their environment (for each scene) is generally a good idea. Rather than saying "John walked into the room", take a second to give them a feel for what the room is like, how it reflects the character's personality or mood, how the weather affects them, describe the natural beauty of the environment, and briefly describe what makes each character uniquely them (i.e. NOT their 38" chest!).

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I never put it in such stark terms.


I would call saying that there is a fine line between how much is just right and how much is too much is very much stark terms.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

and briefly describe what makes each character uniquely them (i.e. NOT their 38" chest!).


Absent a very specific reason (such as a scene involving the character being measured for custom fitted clothes) I would avoid precise numeric descriptions.

However to suggest that physical aspects (such as big boobs) can't be part of what makes a given character who they are is nonsense.

Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

However, all that said, providing enough description for readers to get a feel for their environment (for each scene) is generally a good idea. Rather than saying "John walked into the room", take a second to give them a feel for what the room is like, how it reflects the character's personality or mood, how the weather affects them, describe the natural beauty of the environment, and briefly describe what makes each character uniquely them (i.e. NOT their 38" chest!).


You mean like this, for example:

"In the great quietness of these winter evenings there is one clock: the sea. Its dim momentum in the mind is the fugue upon which this writing is made. Empty cadences of sea-water, licking its own wounds, sulking along the mouths of the delta, boiling upon those deserted beaches---empty, forever empty under the gulls: white scribble on the grey, munched by clouds. If there are ever sails here they die before the land shadows them. Wreckage washed up on the pediments of islands, the last crust, eroded by the weather, stuck in the blue maw of water ... gone!"

--- Lawrence Durrell, Justine

As one critic said, Durrell paints ... and paints and paints and paints and paints.

bb

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

From CW: fine line between ...
vs your: there is no middle ground.

I understood CW's use of 'fine line' as idiomatic, suggesting there is no actual "line", but shades of grey across the middle ground; and "fine" suggesting there may not be much between what is on either side of the grey zone.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee_jawking

@Crumbly Writer

I've done that before, but in this case, it clearly doesn't belong as "I gave her, her own space" sounds terrible.


If you did want to go that route, you could write: I gave her 'her own space'. However the sarcastic inference may be unwanted.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

But master, when may I stop? Can you beat eleven?


No, you are the true master and I prostrate myself before you. Please share your wisdom with me.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I understood CW's use of 'fine line' as idiomatic, suggesting there is no actual "line", but shades of grey across the middle ground; and "fine" suggesting there may not be much between what is on either side of the grey zone.

By 'fine line', I meant that the line is often difficult to determine (i.e. it's too fine to make out clearly).

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Ross in winning the content over awnlee, who only had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had a more pleasing ring to it according to the judges of the pointless contest.

EVERYONE had had enough after Ross pointlessly upped the ante to twenty-nine ...

Ross in winning the content over awnlee, who only had had "had", had had "had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had"; "had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had" had had a more pleasing ring to it according to the judges of the pointless contest.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I've had had had it with this contest. Let's try one that rewards clarity, rather than confusion.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Let's try one that rewards clarity, rather than confusion.

I'm game ... what do you have in mind?

richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

there is a fine line

When you go to pay your traffic ticket there is a fine line you have to get in.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I've had had had it with this contest. Let's try one that rewards clarity, rather than confusion.


When an author pens a story about religious characters and their activities he has to make sure he writes the right rite for each event.

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