So i'm new here just to start this out to begin with. So I hope you can understand my grammatically incorrect sentences. So any ways let me explain the context of this question, I am writing a short historical fiction story set in renaissance era Eastern Europe and One of the lines I was going to have one of the characters say after defeating the Ottomans Turks in a battle was "The savages flee before us in defeat, just like the cowards they are". Now most of this short story would be written in grammatically modern English but I wanted to throw in a few lines here and there that sound archaic. Even although it is quasi-archaic sounding. Also to add in a way referring to other peoples that sounds periodically accurate for peoples in that era's points of views. So is what I have said previously be modern English grammatically correct or not at all ? So one other way I was thinking of wording that line was "The savages flee from us in defeat". I wanted this one line to imitate but not directly copy the style of writing from this period as if it were to have been in English instead of Romanian but then again i'm trying to simulate but not directly copy the exact style of speaking in that era. I wish to write this story that in a way it has a semi-old feeling to it all Finally I would like to ask you all to excuse me for making this question really long and that when one does answer this I would like that person to explain how I may better my style of writing and grammar.
closed as off-topic by tchrist♦, 200_success, Kris, Ellie Kesselman, Drew Apr 4 '15 at 3:44
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
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The savages flee before us in defeat, just like the cowards they are.
For the most part, this sentence is perfectly fine. Nevertheless, before anyone can really tell you what is correct in 'archaic' English, you need to specify which era of archaic English you mean. For the sake of example, I will assume Elizabethan, since that's what usually pops into peoples' heads when they hear 'archaic English'.
I'll start by saying that your sentence, as is, will seem fine to most readers; nevertheless, to someone versed in any older variety of English, just like sticks out like a sore thumb. The adverb just is a recent development. The tricky part is that the adverb just encompasses altogether too many meanings, including simply, only, merely, and several others. Here, however, it means none of those, and I don't believe that there is any other modern equivalent. But we are in luck, for a speaker of Elizabethan English would use even to cover this meaning.
Unfortunately, no one would ever say even like, since the very meaning of like, being similar, was quite opposite that of even, which roughly meant same, equal(ly). So, some part of the sentence must be either removed or changed. You might use any one of the following:
The savages flee before us in defeat, like the cowards they are.
The savages flee before us in defeat, cowardly as they are.
The savages flee before us in defeat, baring their cowardice.
Or really any variation thereof.
If you have an interest in understanding Elizabethan grammar, then I recommend you read works from that period. Once you've read a fair amount, you may benefit from perusing this book.
I would like that person to explain how I may better my style of writing and grammar.
A few general suggestions for you:
If English isn't your first language, you might find another forum helpful, not just for your own questions, but also to read other questions and their answers -- https://ell.stackexchange.com/
Try working with a good spell checker that does grammar checking too.
Try separating your paragraphs into sentences, so that each sentence is on a new line. Set yourself a maximum sentence length, and see how well you can keep to that. At a later stage in your work, you can combine the sentences into one paragraph again. (This exercise, I am hoping, will help you avoid run-on sentences and overly long sentences.)
I am writing a short historical fiction story set in renaissance era Eastern Europe
It sounds like an exciting project. But I have a question. Do you think it's a realistic goal? Do you think the various styles of English come naturally enough to you for this project? A piece of writing can sound painfully labored if the author has had to spend a great deal of his energy worrying about whether his grammar was correct, whether his idioms sounded authentic, and so on.
My impression is that you are a creative person. Is there a creative writing project you could do where your own style of writing in English would be an asset, and would not slow you down? A project where your inner ear has more confidence? Maybe you could write in another language, but put in some English phrases for added color? Maybe you could write a story about a non-native English speaker? Then you wouldn't have to bend and hammer at your natural way of writing, and try to sound like someone you are not.