Incoming, incoming! Or, the problem with glass houses

I’ve decided one of the comments on my last blog installment merits a post in itself, together with my response. This is from a friend and professional editor:

“Is “Eyes filled with disquiet” a full sentence or is it a noun modified by a phrase? Do you mean to say the eyes, they filled with disquiet? Or these are eyes that are filled with disquiet?”

My initial response:

“The latter, of course.”

Then, following further reflection:

If that isn’t “of course,” then I suspect a failure of style and a lesson in humility. If the latter, then how would this ride?

“Disquieted, street dogs slink panting from shade to shade.”


“Street dogs slink from shade to shade.”

Arguably, “slink” includes the notion of disquiet, in this last draft.


Maybe I shouldn’t have worried about it in the first place, since–as some had already suggested–no one would have noticed a touch of stylistic tinniness anyway.