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Grammar freaks, is this sentence correct?
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KeriVit
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Sep 17, 2007, 08:01 PM
 
I am writing a proposal for class and she is strict on grammar. I can't figure out the "lay" usage.

Is this correct?

"No, this was a matter that was being pushed under the carpet and banished to the back of the paper and the 3 a.m. second-rate news shows. The truth that lay beneath was only available through investigation. The coverage in the major media outlets barely touched the surface of what was (and is) really happening."

Thanks.
     
Chuckit
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Sep 17, 2007, 08:06 PM
 
It is correct. That's the past tense of "lie," meaning "to reside or be found."
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wallinbl
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Sep 17, 2007, 08:17 PM
 
It confuses the crap out of people that my dog responds to "lie down" but not "lay down".
     
reader50
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Sep 17, 2007, 08:55 PM
 
The first sentence has too many "ands" in it. Try this instead:

"No, this was a matter that was being pushed under the carpet, banished to the back of the paper, and covered by the 3 A.M. second-rate news shows."
     
Sherman Homan
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:01 PM
 
It confuses the crap out of people that my dog responds to "lie down" but not "lay down".
Snort!
My dog doesn't respond to either command...!
     
analogika
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by wallinbl View Post
It confuses the crap out of people that my dog responds to "lie down" but not "lay down".
Your dog has better grammar than they do (unless you're actually telling it to put down the stick it's carrying)
     
KeriVit  (op)
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:06 PM
 
Thanks!
     
rjenkinson
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:09 PM
 
I would reverse "second-rate" and "3 a.m."
     
reader50
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by rjenkinson View Post
I would reverse "second-rate" and "3 a.m."
I started to do that in my rewrite. Then started wondering about the first-rate 3 A.M. shows.
     
KeriVit  (op)
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:22 PM
 
Oh, it's a ramble. I was thinking that CNN is on all the time, but there's other crap even worse. S\
     
Randman
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
"No, this was a matter that was being pushed under the carpet and banished to the back of the paper and the 3 a.m. second-rate news shows.
You start out the sentence with a no but do not explain what you are saying no to. I'd suggest either expanding on what you're saying no to, or eliminating the word and getting to the heart of the matter.

Also, you push a couple of clichés here. Push under the carpet, banish to the back of the (newspaper not paper). And what is a second-rate news show? Does 3 am factor in these? Most 3 am news shows I've seen are rehashes of the evening news.

Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
"The truth that lay beneath was only available through investigation. The coverage in the major media outlets barely touched the surface of what was (and is) really happening."
I'd skip this metaphor (are you padding this report on word count?) all together and make it "The truth was only discoverable via investigation.

As for the last sentence, more padding, more cliches and vague impressions.

If you're trying to sound outraged, it's not working. Read what you wrote aloud. No one speaks like that. Make it conversational but keep it formal.

Anyway, that's what I thought, just of the top of my head. Your mileage may vary.

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Chuckit
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I started to do that in my rewrite. Then started wondering about the first-rate 3 A.M. shows.
I agree with this rationale. Reversing the two implies that the shows are bad even for 3 a.m. rather than just being bad because they're on at 3 a.m.
Chuck
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rjenkinson
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:32 PM
 
"3 a.m. second-rate news shows" sounds completely unnatural to my ear, even bordering on wrong. Generally, adjectives which describe opinions should precede ones which describe time. (See: here and here ). If the structure doesn't do what you want it to do, then you have problem you need to resolve with a different structure.
     
reader50
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Sep 17, 2007, 09:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by rjenkinson View Post
"3 a.m. second-rate news shows" sounds completely unnatural to my ear, even bordering on wrong. Generally, adjectives which describe opinions should precede ones which describe time. (See: here and here ). If the structure doesn't do what you want it to do, then you have problem you need to resolve with a different structure.
I agree. I wanted to change it, because the initial version sounds bad. The best result might be to remove "second-rate" and let that be implied by the 3 AM part.
     
KeriVit  (op)
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Sep 17, 2007, 10:15 PM
 
I guess some it doesn't make sense out of context. I was covering the fact that it didn't make any major waves in any aspect of the media. I kinda took it out of context so I didn't get this over to the Political Lounge. I appreciate your comments. I'll work on it a bit. My regular proofreader isn't home and proofing your own stuff is hard to see certain flaws.

I have read it aloud even. It does flow with the previous pages. No padding of words and it is how I speak. I'm not outraged, but upset. I'll see what can do about that awkward sentence structure.
     
KeriVit  (op)
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Sep 17, 2007, 10:21 PM
 
How about this:

"No, this matter was being pushed under the carpet, banished to the back of the paper and barely covered by second-rate news shows."

Keep in mind newspaper has already been mentioned in the paragraph and this is an answer to a question.
     
cjrivera
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Sep 17, 2007, 10:43 PM
 
For some reason, "swept under the rug" has always sounded better (to me, anyway) than "pushed under the carpet".
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Randman
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Sep 18, 2007, 03:13 AM
 
Saying it was barely covered by second-rate news shows makes it sound like a positive.


"No. The matter was, for all intent purposes, swept under the rug as it was banished to the back of the newspapers and barely covered by even second-rate news shows scrounging for material."

What about something along those lines?

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red rocket
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Sep 18, 2007, 04:38 AM
 
Needs more drama:

‘On the contrary, the matter was being systematically pushed under the carpet by relegating it to the back of the papers and third‑rate 3 a.m. news shows. The actual facts beneath were only available through intense investigation. Typically, the so‑called “coverage” by the Fourth Estate barely touched upon the tip of the iceberg.’
     
Oisín
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Sep 18, 2007, 02:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Randman View Post
Saying it was barely covered by second-rate news shows makes it sound like a positive.


"No. The matter was, for all intent purposes, swept under the rug as it was banished to the back of the newspapers and barely covered by even second-rate news shows scrounging for material."

What about something along those lines?
“To all intent purposes”? Is that the new “to all intensive porpoises”?

Going with KeriVit’s newest suggestion, I’d change less and simply add an extra ‘even’ (in your suggestion, you’re starting to read like you’re doing some padding yourself, now): “No, this matter was being pushed under the carpet, banished to the back of the paper and barely covered by even second-rate news shows.”
     
Andrew Stephens
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Sep 18, 2007, 02:51 PM
 
jeez guys, your all missing the point. Try this

Hell, it was another screw up, a cover up, a freaking gonzo **** storm, hidden under their noses, among the sports news. Only one man was tough enough to uncover the truth and now he has only 24 hours to bring the story to light, a story that will bring his family and all he loves face to face with death.

Lock and Load suckers!
     
Tiresias
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Sep 18, 2007, 02:56 PM
 
From Oxford:

USAGE The verb lie ('assume a horizontal or resting position') is often confused with the verb lay ('put something down'), giving rise to incorrect uses such as: he is laying on the bed (correct use is | he is lying on the bed) or | why don't you lie the suitcase on the bed? (correct use is | why don't you lay the suitcase on the bed?). The confusion is only heightened by the fact that lay is not only the base form of to lay, but is also the past tense of to lie, so while | he is laying on the bed is incorrect, | he lay on the bed yesterday is quite correct. For more discussion of these lie and lay verb forms, see usage at lay 1 .
     
lavar78
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Sep 18, 2007, 08:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
“No, this matter was being pushed under the carpet, banished to the back of the paper and barely covered by even second-rate news shows.”
I like this suggestion, but I'd make two changes: omit "being" and add a serial comma.

This would sound more conversational and emphasize the last part:

"No, this matter was being pushed under the carpet and banished to the back of the paper, barely covered by even second-rate news shows."

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applemacbook
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Sep 18, 2007, 11:21 PM
 
Grammatically speaking, the title of this thread is inaccurate
     
macmad
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Sep 19, 2007, 09:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
"No, this was a matter that was being pushed under the carpet and banished to the back of the paper and the 3 a.m. second-rate news shows. The truth that lay beneath was only available through investigation. The coverage in the major media outlets barely touched the surface of what was (and is) really happening."
Take an AND out of the first line - "This was a matter that was being pushed under the carpet; banished to the back of the paper and the 3 a.m. second-rate news shows."

How about "The underlying truth was only..." - nobody's dog responds to that.
     
Mac User #001
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Sep 19, 2007, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by applemacbook View Post
Grammatically speaking, the title of this thread is inaccurate
Very true.
     
Oisín
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Sep 19, 2007, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by applemacbook View Post
Grammatically speaking, the title of this thread is inaccurate
Hmm, why? I don’t see it...

Originally Posted by lavar78
I like this suggestion, but I'd make two changes: omit "being" and add a serial comma.
Omitting ‘being’ would change the meaning, which might be okay, but might not be what KeriVit’s going for.

I hadn’t actually thought of the sentence as a series, so I hadn’t thought to add an Oxford comma. I saw the latter two as exemplifications of the first, thus, “No, this matter was being pushed under the carpet: banished to the back of the paper and barely covered by even second-rate news shows”. But an Oxford comma would work just as well (though again changing the meaning slighly).
     
   
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