Post by chriscrawford on Apr 6, 2016 7:45:46 GMT -8
By adding uncertainty to the gossip verb, I have created a problem with display space. A sentence is allowed only eight words, which are arrayed like so:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Now, the gossip verb was originally organized as follows:
S V D A T Q
Where S = Subject, V = Verb, D = DirObject, A = Actor being gossiped about, T = Trait being specified, Q = Quantifier declared for that Trait.
But now I have to add an uncertainty value. It modifies Q, so it should be to the right of Q, but there's no space there. So where to put it? I see two possible arrangements, neither of which are good:
S V D A U Q T
S V D T A Q U
The tiny connector arrows will help clarify issues, but we still end up with misleading arrow connectors. In the upper solution, the connector arrow from D to A makes no sense; the verb should point to both the DirObject AND the Actor being gossiped about, but in the upper solution, the DirObject points to the Actor being gossiped about. That's screwy.
But the lower solution is worse. Here, the verb correctly points to both DirObject and Actor being gossiped about; the Trait is on the left of that Actor, pointing towards the Actor -- that's OK. But now the Quantifier points to the Actor, not the Trait. That's just screwy. It's like the sentence:
"The angry butcher yelled at the dog with the mustache."
The dog doesn't have the mustache, the butcher does, but the prepositional phrase appears to modify the dog.
Oh, what to do, what to do? Hands wring. Brows furrow. Feet pace.
Post by chriscrawford on Apr 6, 2016 8:11:24 GMT -8
I took action to contemplate the problem: housework. It's always a good way to think about deep problems. And I came up with a third solution:
S V D A T Q U
In this arrangement, there's simply no connector arrow between the upper and the lower clauses. They are presented as separate clauses. This would fit well with the other gossip verb -- disclose -- which would take the same form.