Help with grammar

Discussion in 'Community' started by zoetropeuk, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. zoetropeuk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    Oxford UK
    #1
    A client of mine is spending a considerable amount of money printing a brochure for a large property development. My personal opinion is the grammar used in the brochure is poor. Here is an example:

    The heart of The Dairy is the kitchen and dining hall which flow into the new glass and timber garden room that opens straight onto the large and enclosed west facing rear garden. To the other side of the dining hall, there is an intimate sitting room with an open fireplace for extra warmth on winter’s evenings.

    This cottage is a gardener’s delight as the house and garden are juxtaposed to give life to both. From all of the ground floor rooms there are large glass doors leading into this very private space that captures the sun and light all the day.

    Upstairs, there are two large bedrooms and two bathrooms, both of which have stunning views over the open countryside. The garden room is of versatile design as it is also a self-contained ground floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom.


    As there seems to be some very intelligent members on this site I though I'd post it for comment and corrections. English was never my best subject at school, I was a typical Math and Science geek.

    I'm also posting it here as there is no chance that my client or my client's client would ever stumble across it.
     
  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    You're right. It's dreadful. I manage a team of copywriters and that wouldn't be allowed out of the door. Unfortunately I don't have time to rewrite it - and if that's just some of it, you should suggest they ask a copywriter to rework it.

    The first sentence is far too long - I know a heart has four chambers but really! As for the third paragraph with two bedrooms and two bathrooms both having views, that's just grammatically wrong. There are 4 things so either they all have views or there are two ensuite bedrooms, both of which have views.
     
  3. Crucial macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #3
    People's opinions on grammar always differ, but I think this is what I would do:


    The heart of The Dairy is in the kitchen and dining hall, which flow into the new glass and timber room, a garden room that opens straight onto the large and enclosed west-facing rear garden. To the other side of the dining hall, there is an intimate sitting room with an open fireplace for extra warmth on a winter’s evening.

    This cottage is a gardener’s delight, as the house and garden are juxtaposed to give life to both. From all of the ground floor rooms there are large glass doors leading into this very private space that captures the sun and light all day.

    Upstairs, there are two large bedrooms and two bathrooms, both of which have stunning views over the open countryside. The garden room is of versatile design as it is also a self-contained ground floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

    Hope this helps!

    :)
     
  4. zoetropeuk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    Oxford UK
    #4
    Their so called professional copywriter did actually write the above copy. Not only that, but four supposedly intelligent people have read and approved the copy. I've been trying to politely tell them that their copywriter is not up to scratch but they won't listen.

    I have no vested interest, as I don't want the work and I don't know anyone that would but it makes them look unprofessional. I suppose the upshot for me is, the more properties they list the more properties I photograph. So in a roundabout kind of way I do benefit but I'm not trying to take work that I don't already have.

    In the end I'm just looking out for their best interests.
     
  5. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Secret Moon base
    #5
    Maybe a diagram instead of all that layout description. With a separate blurb for each room...
     
  6. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester
    #6
    Crucial almost nailed it, but I'd go for:

    very private space, which captures the sun and light all day.

    If you're adding more info about an object (in this case, that it captures the sun...) you should use which, preceeded by a comma.
     
  7. zoetropeuk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    Oxford UK
    #7
    There are floorplans in the brochure with images as well but it's the copy that I'm concerned with. The layout and design is set in concrete but hopefully there is still time to make changes to the copy.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #8
    This is how I'd correct it:


    Without all the comments:

    The heart of The Dairy is the kitchen and dining hall. The dining hall flows into the new glass and timber garden room that opens straight onto a large, enclosed rear garden facing west. To the other side of the dining hall, there is an intimate sitting room with an open fireplace for extra warmth during those cold winter evenings.

    This cottage is a gardener’s delight, as the house and garden are juxtaposed to give life to both. From all of the ground floor rooms, large glass doors lead to a very private space that captures the sun's light all day.

    Upstairs, there are two large bedrooms and two bathrooms, all of which have stunning views of the open countryside. The garden room is of versatile design as it is also a self-contained ground floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
     
  9. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    #9
    Abstract's version looks much better. I can't believe that no one that was working on this for the company put a comma before that "as" and after that prepositional phrase.

    The first sentence needs to be broken up it to long to read smoothly.
     
  10. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #10
    I prefer this version over all the others - but, far from being a grammar expert, I'm approaching this from the point of view as a potential buyer. I've spent more time than I care to think about going over copy, watching the individuals who make the final decision lose track of what they're trying to do. What are they trying to sell here? Key words that linger after reading are heart, intimate, warmth, private, stunning, versatile. With this in mind the phrase "as the house and garden are juxtaposed to give life to both" especially the word juxtaposed seem way too unwieldy, and detract from the cozy feeling of the rest of the piece.

    That's just my impression, don't know if it helps.

    Good luck, and don't anguish long over other peoples decisions. As I've come to realize all too painfully, brochures like these don't have a very long shelf life (ending up in the circular file) and very few people will actually read any of the copy :D One key reason why a brochure with visual elements should accent the images using captions or brief descriptions to minimize copy.

    D
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    Well thanks for the approval, but I'm not good at grammar, and I honestly don't know any of the technical jargon for writing, such as "preposition," for example. Actually, I wrote mine out hoping that someone would correct MY mistakes and leave a better copy for me to look at, but meh, I guess people are starting to write more and more like the way they speak, like me. :)
     
  12. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #12

    |
    |
    \ /


    The kitchen and dining hall are the heart of The Dairy, flowing into the glass and timber garden room. The garden room opens directly onto the expanse of the enclosed, west facing, rear garden. On the other side of the dining hall is an intimate sitting room, featuring an open fireplace for extra warmth on cold winter's evenings.

    A gardener's delight, the cottage and garden adjoin perfectly to each receive light and life. All of the ground floor rooms open upon the large, private garden that is sunlit all day long.

    On the second floor there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms looking out across the stunningly gorgeous countryside. On the ground floor, the garden room functions as a bedroom with a private bath.


    ------

    I hope this helps at least somewhat, it was enjoyable for me to play around with it anyway.
    :cool:
     
  13. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #13
    kill the passive voice, shorten the sentences, I'd say.
     

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