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Grammar Ganges

Suggest improvements for the highlighted problem area:

The morning was so somber. Before dawn, Amitabh and Chandan carried the bamboo stretcher through the sleepy streets of Varanasi, down to the river. Amitabh's face showed more pain than Chandan.

They will arrive at the burning ghats of Manikarnika as the sun rose above the horizon. Wrapped in red silk, their load was placed next to a neat pile of sandalwood. Workers dipped the body in the holy Ganges, then it was set on a pyre. For three hours Amitabh and Chandan watched the burning. Amitabh felt more affection for his grandmother than Chandan. As blue smoke rose above the ghats, Amitabh would pray that the soul of his grandmother would soon reach paradise.


- Logically Consistent Comparisons -

Our opening paragraph contains sentences that lack logical organization. Readers are easily confused when sentences aren't internally consistent. The very first sentence leaves the reader guessing:

    The morning was so somber.

In our writing, if we really want to compare things for the reader, we should provide a complete comparison:

    The morning was so somber that few people looked up as they walked.

When we don't really want or need to compare things, a simple rewrite is adequate:

    It was a somber morning.

Later in the opening paragraph we have a sentence that is not logically consistent:

    Amitabh's face showed more pain than Chandan.

Most readers get the idea, but at the same time, their minds are often busy in the background considering the ridiculous possibility that Amitabh's face displayed Chandan. Provide consistent comparisons by writing out the complete comparison:

    Amitabh's face showed more pain than Chandan's face did.


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