KudoZ home » English » Poetry & Literature

comma placement?

English translation: Erect, confident, smiling, with open hands resting in his lap.

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
04:50 Sep 30, 2011
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: comma placement?
This is a part of a longer sentence:

.....erect, confident, smiling with hands open, resting in his lap.

This isn't looking unnatural to me. How about a comma after the "smiling" and taking out the comma after "open." Any suggestions for improvement? Thank you!
Joyce A
Thailand
Local time: 00:53
English translation:Erect, confident, smiling, with open hands resting in his lap.
Explanation:
The problem is that the four elements in the series (the four words or phrases set off by commas) are not parallel. The first three describe the person, but the last ("resting in his lap") describe the hands.

My version is one of many ways to rewrite the sentence and avoid the problem.

Good luck!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 46 mins (2011-09-30 05:36:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Joyce, I don't know if I can improve on the suggestion I already made. My proposal is very similar to yours--add a comma after "smiling" and remove the one after "open." All I did was to reverse "hands open" to "open hands." Another way you could fix this with minimal changes to the original would be: "...erect, smiling, with hands open and resting in his lap."
Any other version I could think of would require more drastic changes, such as making a new sentence: "...erect and smiling. His open hands rested in his lap." It's hard to know whether that would work or not, since I don't know the full context, i.e. what came before "erect" in the original sentence.
Selected response from:

JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 13:53
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3 +10Erect, confident, smiling, with open hands resting in his lap.
JaneTranslates


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +10
Erect, confident, smiling, with open hands resting in his lap.


Explanation:
The problem is that the four elements in the series (the four words or phrases set off by commas) are not parallel. The first three describe the person, but the last ("resting in his lap") describe the hands.

My version is one of many ways to rewrite the sentence and avoid the problem.

Good luck!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 46 mins (2011-09-30 05:36:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Joyce, I don't know if I can improve on the suggestion I already made. My proposal is very similar to yours--add a comma after "smiling" and remove the one after "open." All I did was to reverse "hands open" to "open hands." Another way you could fix this with minimal changes to the original would be: "...erect, smiling, with hands open and resting in his lap."
Any other version I could think of would require more drastic changes, such as making a new sentence: "...erect and smiling. His open hands rested in his lap." It's hard to know whether that would work or not, since I don't know the full context, i.e. what came before "erect" in the original sentence.

JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 13:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 36
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
Notes to answerer
Asker: This is not my writing. I'm going through it. I was having exactly the same problem upon seeing this sentence. Jane, could you please give me an example as to how would you word it while keeping the same feel to the sentence? Thank you.

Asker: Thank you. My mind's alternatives have been confirmed. :-)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheila Wilson
43 mins
  -> Thank you, Sheila.

agree  Liz Dexter (was Broomfield)
50 mins
  -> Thanks, Liz.

agree  Jack Doughty
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Jack.

agree  Rina LS
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Rina.

agree  Yasutomo Kanazawa
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Yasutomo.

agree  Charles Davis: The extra comma after "smiling" is mandatory. I think you could get away with leaving the rest alone.
1 hr
  -> I agree, Charles; your Discussion entry is quite correct. I prefer my original proposal, but if Joyce wants to tamper as little as possible, your suggestion works.

agree  Jenni Lukac
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jenni.

agree  Suzan Hamer
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Suzan.

agree  Phong Le
18 hrs
  -> Thank you, Phong Le.

agree  Gary D
4 days
  -> Thanks, Gary D.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search