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Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Jan 26 23:06:07 EST 2004


On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 20:53:05 -0000, Dorian E. Gray wrote:

>  Melissa replied to me...

>  > >  I'm totally missing what you feel is wrong with this.  "attention to
>detail"
>  > >is the direct object of the sentence.  Both "so good" and "feel so right"
>modify
>  > >the verb ("is this which makes the book").  Okay, that's an adverbial
>phrase or
>  > >something.
>  >
>  > Because the two phrases which follow are "makes the book so good" and "feel
>  > so right."  So the full modified phrases are "attention to detail which
>  > makes the book so good" and "attention to detail which *feel* so right."
>  > It's not parallel construction.
>
>  Am I missing something here?  Because I see the full modified phrases as
>"attention to detail which makes the book so good" and "attention to detail
>which makes the book feel so right".  And those are parallel, and it's all good.

Those sentences are parallel, but in truth I wouldn't have pulled them out
of the original sentence.  If you were diagramming it (and it's been a very
long time, so this will be very broad) you would have "attention to detail"
and then "which" hanging down from that, and the two clauses coming off of
"which."  In order to have "makes the book" apply to both clauses, you would
have to modify either "so good" or "feel so right" to be parallel
themselves: either add a verb to the first, or cut "feel" out of the second.
That may still not make sense (present tense usage!) but that's why I read
the sentence the way I do.

I think life was happier when we were taught to diagram sentences properly.
It's like the verbal equivalent of the geometric proof...all nice and tidy
and orderly.  Now I'm just flailing around.  I knew a homeschooling mom once
who used her ability to diagram to wring a proper settlement out of an
insurance company.  Using one's powers for good, indeed.

Melissa Proffitt

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