Is the following phrase incorrect or awkward somehow:

I've been trying to make the ghost of you leave me alone.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Robusto, tchrist, Ellie Kesselman, andy256, ermanen Jan 5 '15 at 1:37

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  • It's awkward in the sense that it doesn't make any sense. What are you trying to say? – Robusto Jan 3 '15 at 17:53
  • I guess it roughly means "I've been trying to forget you". 'The ghost of you' is sometimes used to refer to someone who is no longer around for some reason. Not necessarily dead. – user2468 Jan 3 '15 at 18:17
  • In what context did you encounter, or are you planning to use, this phrase? It might help us understand what one's "ghost" means in a particular context in order to formulate a better answer. Is it in SF with a verifiable afterlife? – Damian Yerrick Jan 3 '15 at 18:36

I think the problem with this phrase is not the "leave me alone" part but the "the ghost of you" part. It seems you're trying to use "the ghost of you" as a metaphor for a memory. I have never come across this particular metaphor and it seems it's not exactly a common phrase.

If you still want to use this phrase I would go with something that plays both on a metaphor for ghost and memory. Something like:

I've been trying to make the ghost of you fade away.


I've been trying to make the ghost of you stop haunting me.

In any case, this is kind of flowery language to begin with. I would try to avoid using the phrase "the ghost of you" in general, unless you're trying to write in a particularly poetic manner.


Your phrase instantly conjured up the famous lyric

"O how the ghost of you clings! These foolish things remind me of you"

This lyric makes the 'ghost' of you so much more than 'just you'. It is all my memories, associations and emotions.

I like your phrase but it does jar for me. Perhaps because 'leave me alone' can sound childish, mundane and even petty. Whereas 'the ghost of you' is grandly poetic. So I am distracted by a stylistic (?) mismatch.

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