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Hi,

I'm having trouble organizing the structure of this sentence:

"The creepy kid across the street reportedly nailed his cat through the tail to a wall head upside down."
"(...) nailed his cat head upside down through the tail to a wall."
"(...) nailed his cat to a wall through the tail head upside down."
etc.

You get the idea. I can't decide on the order in which to place the words in the second half of the sentence. Granted, since I specify that the cat was hung by the tail, I could omit "head upside down" (or vice-versa), but I find it helps visualize the scene. I feel removing it would take away from its gruesomeness.

P.S.: I'm presently not in my normal frame of mind. I just can't seem to think straight. Do you find any else wrong with this post? Any grammatical mistakes, bad syntax, etc.?
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Comments  
I think you can simplify it, but it might detract from the graphic concept:
The creepy kid across the street reportedly nailed his cat's tail to a wall. .
The problem with your suggestion (aside from "detracting" from the graphic and gory nature of the act) is that it doesn't say whether the cat was still attached to the tail when the kid nailed it to the wall. For all we know, he could have severed it and then hung it on a wall as some kind of trophy. Is there no way to combine all the things I said into one coherent, well-rounded sentence? I'd like it to contain as much detail as possible and still sound good.
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Well, anyone care to give my question another stab before this thread is buried and forgotten? I'd appreciate any help I can get.

(P.S.: Please read my second post on this thread before answering my question.)
I think both of them are fine in spoken english, but the first would be better.
What do you mean: "BOTH of them"? I listed THREE alternate sentence structures! Which ones are you referring to?
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Well? Anyone else care to help me with this? I've been trying to come up with a solution for days, to no avail...
Hi guys,
Here's my try.

The creepy kid across the street reportedly nailed his cat through the tail to a wall head upside down."
"(...) nailed his cat head upside down through the tail to a wall."
"(...) nailed his cat to a wall through the tail head upside down."
etc.

'Through the tail' and 'head upside down' are not very idiomatic. I'd say 'by the tail' and 'head down'.

I suggest this.
"The creepy kid across the street reportedly nailed his cat to a wall by the tail, head down."

However, do you think 'head down' is really necesssary? I agree with Philip that it's not. How else would a cat be in such circumstances?

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks, Clive. This is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. To be honest with you, I'm not sure why I wrote "through the tail". It might have something to do with a (poorly-written) review of "Last Temptation of Christ" I read not long ago. It contained a sentence that read something like "Jesus is then nailed to a cross through the wrists". This is what happens when I'm exposed to unidiomatic or broken English - I lose all notion of what sounds good and what doesn't. It's such a bother...

Just out of curiosity, how would you describe the infamous "meat-hook" scene from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? I've been having trouble putting that into words as well. Can I say, for instance: "Leatherface impales a helpless girl on a meat hook by the back"? Would it also be correct to say: "he thrusts her back into a meat hook and leaves her to hang"? Can "into" be used this way? After all, we often say things like "I accidentally backed into a spike and hurt myself."
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