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Can anyone tell me if this paragraph is grammatically acceptable:

They sat: with Charles on his customary stool; Camilla on the floor; and Eric on the pirate hammock his parents had found in the South Pacific. On seeing Camilla's scrutiny of the parcel he threw her a tennis ball.

My grammar book says that colons must be prefaced by a complete sentence - and I can assume that 'They sat:' is recognised as such. Anything else that you think needs fixing is welcome(particularly the punctuation).
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I don't see the need for so much complex punctuation.

They sat with Charles on his customary stool, Camilla on the floor, and Eric on ....

CJ
Comments  
I can't tell you if this correct, although I would say that it isn't natural punctuating with colons like this. Also, after a colon I would always use a capital letter.
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
I guess it's not so much of a question of whether you like it or think it necessary to punctuate so elaborately. It's whether it's grammatically correct or not.

One thing I've learnt is how little we punctuate these days.
Above, you said,

"Anything else that you think needs fixing is welcome(particularly the punctuation)."

Now you're saying,
AnonymousI guess it's not so much of a question of whether you like it or think it necessary to punctuate so elaborately.
Apparently remarks regarding punctuation were not as welcome as you led us to believe.

By the way, the original sentence is grammatical in spite of its quirky punctuation. If it hadn't been, ten to twelve moderators would have descended upon it like vultures to correct it! Emotion: smile

Note, however, that grammaticality is seldom dependent on punctuation. Perfectly grammatical sentences can be punctuated wrong. Conversely, many ungrammatical sentences are punctuated perfectly. It's best to think of grammar and punctuation as separate topics in most cases.

CJ
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