Monday, March 5, 2007

noun strings

I had a really hard time taking apart the noun strings. Does anyone have any hints or ideas on a better way to do them than the book explains?


chi said...

Same here. Only a few of my sentences are turning out to be the answers in the book. I don't think working your way from the last part of the sentence always works.

Megan said...

Maybe in the noun string section the answers are more an example of one solution than an absolutely correct answer. Then again, maybe this is my rationale to justify why I like my answer more than the book's.

I kind of liked the "end of the noun string" suggestion. It at least gave me a starting point to unravel those weird phrases, even if it didn't work 100 percent of the time.

Pat said...

The textbook suggests starting at the end of the noun string, not at the end of the sentence. This makes sense because all the words before the last function as adjectives. The last word is the noun being modified, and therefore, the word is the subject—either of the clause or the sentence.

Here is how I edited sentence 3 in exercise 23: "This paper investigates the information-processing behavior of games that simulate human cognition."

I felt that information processing behavior was a common phrase, so I did not unstring it. Instead I inserted a hyphen between information and processing so that the reader would not misread it; i.e., the hyphen makes it clear that the two words form a compound modifying behavior.

Your answer doesn't have to match the textbook's exactly; the important thing is that you be able to break apart the noun string and reconstruct the sentence in simpler, more direct language.

Of course, some of the noun strings in the exercises are difficult to break up because you don't know what these strange noun combinations mean. This is to be expected, so don't feel discouraged. Just do your best, and then turn to the answer key.

We'll go over the chapter in detail on Friday.