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How should I rephrase my sentence if you think it's incorrect or inadequate? Thanks.

closed as off-topic by TrevorD, Hellion, Cascabel, JJJ, Reinstate Monica May 1 at 4:52

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  • Please refer to any research you have done on the matter and let us know what you think may or may not be wrong with the sentence. – Karlomanio Apr 30 at 17:00
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It isn't entirely correct, but it just needs some minor modifications to fix it.

From what I'm interpreting from the sentence, you're wanting to show the contrast between how "I" (the subject) felt about communication in the past and how "I" feel in the present.

If that's the case, then "previously" is a misplaced modifier: putting the comma after "previously" separates it from "in my life," which is how you're showing that the first half of the sentence relates to a past version of your feelings. Thus, the beginning of the sentence should be changed to:

Previously in my life,

This will make the whole phrase a modifier for the next part, which would be a full independent clause describing how "I" felt about communication in the past:

Previously in my life, I detested all types of communication,

You don't need to say "where" (which would be the incorrect word to use anyway, since "where" refers to places rather than times)

After that, you're introducing a new independent clause - a second statement that indicates how "I" now feel differently about communication (in the present). To do that, you need to use a coordinating conjunction; the most relevant one would be "but," since that second statement contrasts the first sentence:

Previously in my life, I detested all types of communication, but now I have grown to have an appreciation

As a final point, "it" would only work within the original sentence if it's referring to "communication" (as a singular/noncount noun). If you want to use a pronoun that refers to "all types of communication," then you have to use "them". So, depending on what you want the pronoun to be focusing on, your final sentence could be

Previously in my life, I detested all communication, but now I have grown to have an appreciation for it.

or

Previously in my life, I detested all types of communication, but now I have grown to have an appreciation for them.

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    Shouldn't "for it" be "for them"? – Thomas Bitonti Apr 30 at 15:35
  • Thanks for catching that - I've updated my answer. – Dion Apr 30 at 17:35
  • Perfect. Although I was going for "Previously in my life, I detested all types of communication, but now I have grown to have an appreciation for them.", it came out weird as I was typing. – Rocinante May 1 at 2:55
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Try to simplify.

Assume the role of a journalist. If you work on re-phrasing the sentence with fewer words, you can get your point across and avoid possible grammatical errors. For example:

"Previously I detested all forms of communication; now I appreciate them."

  • Wow! Most succinct sentence construction. I wish I had thought of it. Do you recommend any book? – Rocinante May 1 at 2:44
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Are you familiar with the terms “tautology” and “pleonasm”? Read on to find out, but do anticipate a very, very comprehensive reply... uhhh for some reason... ?? Idk, I certainly didn’t intend to be sitting on the toilet for at least over 45 minutes now and counting, but here I am. God my ass is numb.

Ok! So maybe try this sentence on for size:

“Over the years and through my experiences, I’ve grown to value many different kinds of communication, despite my prior aversion to them.”

I hope that no offense is taken over how I didn’t preserve any of the previous sentence structure/order along with trying out some other adjectives (I was sure to utilize only synonyms of the adjectives I swapped out, though)—

My intention with forming a completely different sentence (structure-wise, not content-wise) isn’t to discount the words or structure you have chosen thus far, but to hopefully do the following... a) provide you with a wide variety of answer-options to choose from and b) offer up a fresh perspective on how you ultimately will want to structure/arrange your sentence and convey the meaning that follows

Your sentence really only has one thing holding it back from being a superbly intriguing sentence: redundancy. Are you familiar with the terms pleonasm and tautology? Me neither until just today actually! (haha)

It’s really simple, though— a word which adds nothing extra to a sentence is a pleonasm. And a word which merely repeats the meaning of another word in an expression is called a tautology.

In this particular case, nearly half of the space in your sentence is being taken up by tautologies and pleonasms (mostly pleonasms, I think?).

An example of a possible tautology in your sentence is your use of the word “previously” directly followed by “in my life”... if you changed “in my life” to “throughout my life,” then you could completely do away with either word or phrase, due to them being so synonymous. However, if you are looking to be more distinct and specific, you could instead combine them to say “during previous years” or even “In years past” if you’re looking to set a quirky or eccentric tone perhaps. Or, even simpler, just go for the trusty “In the past...” to begin your sentence— can’t go wrong there. “Previously in my life” just sounds much too wordy (just in my opinion though).

The last half of your sentence seems to best represent the pleonasms I spotted. If you strip that last half down to it’s “bare bones,” then you’ve got “I’ve grown to appreciate it.” See how this just about cuts out half of the words in this particular portion of the sentence? And in my opinion, no meaning is lost by removing those pleonasms. See how in the sentence example I provided in the very beginning, I rewrote said phrase to read: “I’ve grown to value” which, yes, may sound a bit dull and lacking in originality... but that shouldn’t be a priority given that the goal here is to shave off some of the repetitive and unnecessary words without losing any meaning in the process.

Many writers seem to make a false correlation between pseudo-intellectual, flowery terms equating to superior knowledge or a greater aptitude for creative writing.

This is absolutely not the case... Just like it actually takes more skill and control to play a musical instrument quietly, it also takes more skill and knowledge of context to know when ambiguity and “complexity for the sake of complexity” should be avoided. If an author wrote their memoir in such a way that every scene and action was described vividly and in great detail... their audience would likely become antsy and start to overlook the truly well-crafted and “quotable” parts of the book as a result of far too much grandiosity.

I’ll conclude my thesis (which is ironically littered with pleonasms and tautologies of it’s own, on purpose, lol) with this: I know that at least half of what I wrote is pure, unadulterated opinion (ha ha), and thus it should only be taken with a grain of salt. How you wish to proceed with re-writing your sentence should be dependent upon your individual writing style and the meaning you are attempting to convey through whatever adjectives or metaphors you deem most suited to the cause.

But do look into pleonasms and tautology, because they are enjoyable words to say. Lol

  • Awesomesauce! Now when I really think about it, I do come off as pseudo-intellectual, ha. I'd go with "Throughout my life, I detested all types of communication, but now I've grown to value it." as it seems to the point. Thanks for your comprehensive critique. – Rocinante May 1 at 2:35

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