To Be or not to be?

May 28, 2019
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One for all yout grammar gurus

Pa fixed his eyes on Jude.


Jude's pa rolled.his eyes.

Their pa parked the car.

Do you use a.capital for pa in the 2nd or 3rd sentences or not?
Getting conflicting views and it's doing head in.
 

lynnmosher

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2007
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Since Pa begins the sentence, you have to capitalize it. In the third sentence, no. Because it's not his name. It's his relationship. Also, be careful with the active eyes. Editors don't always like "rolling eyes." I found this...

"Roll the eyes is a commonly used idiom. Many editors don’t like it, insisting that the expression makes readers envision eyes rolling across the floor like marbles. However, people understand what a writer means by the phrase. In my opinion, editors’ biases are old-fashioned, and I was born when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.

Nevertheless, rolling of the eyes is cliché, best reserved for dialogue and children’s or young adult books. But even in books written for kids, overuse of any expression is taboo."
 
May 28, 2019
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Thanks Lynn. The rolling of eyes was just what I thought up to make the sentence. Not what I actually use.
 

paulchernoch

Senior Member
May 19, 2005
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Recently read an article about the cultural meaning of eye rolling. It’s meaning has changed over time and varies between cultures. Who knew
?
 
Aug 10, 2013
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About capitalizing "pa," what Lynn said. If it's used as his name, then capitalize. But if it's the relationship, then not.
 

Grey_Skies

Struggling writer hoping to make dreams come true
Dec 27, 2020
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"Roll the eyes is a commonly used idiom. Many editors don’t like it, insisting that the expression makes readers envision eyes rolling across the floor like marbles
Oh goodness, this is so funny! 🤣🤣 Crazy that editors think that's what readers actually envision - how stupid do they think we are? 😂
 
Apr 5, 2019
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I have a similar issue. The character Inoch is called "Captain," and is referred to as "the captain" in my next work. If it is a name, it is capitalized. If it is his designation, it isn't.

So "Jude's pa" would be lowercase. But "Hey, Pa," is capitalized.
 

lynnmosher

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2007
23,272
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Oh goodness, this is so funny! 🤣🤣 Crazy that editors think that's what readers actually envision
Actually, it's a holdover from years past, I believe. What we speak is not always transferable to writing. It comes out a little strange. Rolling the eyes is more commonly acceptable now. However, there are still some FBP (floating body parts) usage that we need to watch out for. Here's a portion from CS Lakin (former member). Be sure to read the rest of the article. It's essential.

...confusing clichés that can have multiple meanings too.

Here are some examples, along with some parenthetical snark.

FBPs:

  • Her eyes flew across the room. (So her eyes popped out of her head, grew wings, and took flight? Eww.)
  • His jaw dropped to the floor. (Whoa. Now that is one huge mouth.)
  • Her face fell. (Did it bounce when it hit the floor?)
  • His eyebrows hiked to his hairline. (That would require some seriously stretchy skin.)
  • Her sad eyes held him in place. (Strong grip they have.)
Confusing clichés:

  • He threw up his hands. (Who wouldn’t vomit? Hands are not meant to be snack food.)
  • She shot her arm out to catch him. (Did she use a gun or a cannon?)
 

lynnmosher

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2007
23,272
4,817
Oh, you might also want to do a search for floating body parts in writing. There's more out there. ::D
 

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