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Nouns (The Tour of Wonder, Stop #1, first half)

by JasmineFelicia

It was another sunny day in the City of Nouns, and the Tour Guide gathered everyone together, beginning a well-practiced, well-worn speech:

"In the Land of Thought, there are quite a few countries, or cities, or whatever you people wish to refer to them as. But currently, we are in the Nation of Words, particularly the City of Nouns. First off, I must say, Nouns are quite arrogant, so if you bump into them, just. . .  Be aware. They are not attempting to offend you. Belittle you? Yes. Offend you? No. But let us continue.    

"As you can most likely see, the entrance to the city is a beautiful golden gate, though it is not made out of gold but rather the beautiful names which every mother has called her child, every title with which the people hailed favored leaders, every name which has been granted to every place around the world. These gates have the endearing terms of lovers, the nicknames between best friends. Here are a few: Sweetie, Honey, John, Lily, Little Sister, Em, Old Man, Mt. Tsereve, and so on. 

"Proceeding through the gates, we enter Street Number One, signifying the first street (obviously), this is the place where the international airport and train station are located. Due to this many Common Nouns mill about here because it is easier to work for tourists than Proper Nouns. The casual dress for a Common Noun, which you will observe here, consist of no capital letters. Unless, of course, they are the head of their club (which we refer to as sentences). Usually, they have at least one vowel, though occasionally they do not. 

"In the year Pre x two hundred, there was a slight disturbance over the rights of Common Nouns, but they were quickly put back in their place upon the arrival of a dispatch of Proper Nouns. The Proper Nouns are much more sophisticated than the Common Nouns, always seen wearing capital letters. They are very important to the society of the world. As well as these Nouns there are Concrete (which are very down to earth), Abstract (known for their extravagant jobs), Collective (always working in groups), Count (a family of Nouns that you can count), and Non-Count (a family of Nouns that you cannot count) Nouns.

"Ah! And here we are coming upon Second Street, which is the second street of the Main Road, which we are following. Street the Thirteenth is closed (and probably cursed) and so we will only go to Dozen Street during our time here. Anyhow, On Second St, there are many restaurants, and I assume that you will eat here, as it is the only place to eat, at least for tourists. Many Common Concrete Nouns(CC Nouns) establish their life here.

"Second Street splits into The Three St, to the right, and Number Six St on the left. Tomorrow we will go down Number Six St. Today we will go down The Three Street, which is known for one of the Mafia groups - The Count Nouns. If you wish to keep your money, take the shuttle to skip this street.

"As you can see, The Three Street is quite empty of any usual nouns and is also very rundown, until the giant turnaround around that giant Oak Tree up ahead. Turning to the right will lead you to the shuttle station, and turning around the edge of the circle to the left will result in an entrance to Quatro Sinco Road, known for many jokes about Four Mexican Bullfighters sinking in Quicksand. Those of you who consume an immense amount of carrots to see my words will notice that all the nouns in that sentence were capitalized as if they were Proper even if they were Common. That is simply a tradition. Quatro Sinco Road is where all your hotels and cottages and apartments are located. We will be providing assistance with check-in later. 

"Quatro Sinco Road leads us into The Street of Fourth, quite probably the most famous street in the City of Nouns. It is known for the many paintings, writings, sculptures, etcetera, of the famous artists Destiny, Fate, Luck Chance, and especially Skill. 

"This continues on into the Road of Ninety-Five Subtracted from One-Hundred, NFSOH Road for short. On this Road you observe still many of the different masterpieces, but it develops into museums of Happiness, Sadness, Anger and Sorrow, Grief, Joy, the Pride family, and more. The road continues to lead onto the outskirts of the city, where only Pronouns live. That's all for today! 

"Please feel free to explore the city until nine pm, at which point go to Quatro Sinco Road and check into your respective lodgings. Thank you for traveling with Education Tours, and enjoy yourselves!"

The Tour Guide finished speaking and the tourists dispersed with their weird hats, floral shirts, cameras, and trinkets hoping to find a good place to eat. The day was a sunny one, and so it would stay. Education Tours never liked reviews complaining about bad weather. Somewhere on the outskirts of the town it rained on a poor Pronoun's ranch.

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58 Reviews

Points: 1962
Reviews: 58

Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:16 pm
Lezuli wrote a review...

Greetings! I'm Lezuli and I will be reviewing this work for you.
Let me start out by saying that I really liked this piece! It was funny and the ideas were really thought out(such as the hierarchy between Common and Proper Nouns). The guide's sarcasm and frank matter-of-fact way of speaking made for a fun read.
Anyway, on to the things I noticed.
#1: Occasionally you go into long run-on sentences, such as here- "The casual dress for a Common Noun, which you will observe, consists of no capital letters unless they are the head of their club, which we refer to as sentences." Perhaps you could separate it a bit more into something more like this?-'The casual dress for a Common Noun, which you will observe here, consist of no capital letters. Unless, of course, they are the head of their club. In that case we refer to as sentences'. (or something like that)
#2: "disturbance over the right's of Common Nouns" Very minor thing, but in this sentence you don't need an apostrophe in rights.
#3: The last sentence, "Somewhere on the outskirts of the town it rained on a poor Pronoun's ranch." seemed very out of place for me. It was so out of place with the rest of the entire piece. I assume it's a lead in to the next part, but it may make it fit in more if you re-worked it to fit better with the rest of the story. Like maybe give it its own paragraph might do the trick. Or giving it a little more lead-in. Or if you like it the way it is, that's cool, too!
That's all I noticed. I hope this helps you improve this delightful work!

Thank you!

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19 Reviews

Points: 2014
Reviews: 19

Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:02 pm
grainne wrote a review...

Hello! This was such an interesting piece to read. As a self-pronounced grammar and syntax lover, this piece was so fun to read and made me laugh by just how relatable the ideas are. I have a few comments on various elements of the piece that you're welcome to take or leave - they're just ideas based on personal experience with pieces like this.

First, the context of this piece could be a little more clear. Once I read it all the way through, it was clear that a tour guide is walking tourists through a land where grammar has come to life. However, in the beginning of the piece I didn't have that context - I just knew some sort of tour guide was speaking to someone. All the way through, I was curious where this was and why someone is talking about it.

Maybe if you gave some context in the beginning, it would be more interesting to a reader completely unfamiliar with your subject matter. It's a fine balance - you don't want the beginning of the piece to be an information dump, but you do want it to have enough information that your readers can enjoy the entire piece.

Second, it might be interesting if the tour guide had a conversation with the tourists. This could also break up the long paragraphs of your piece and make it more easy for a reader to follow. Adding a new sort of writing (dialogue) would give more contrast to your piece and maybe it would flow more smoothly.

Third, although it does seem this was intended to be a narrative piece, I'd love to see a little more interest and conflict in this Land of Thought. In real-life countries, there's always some sort of political drama going on. Maybe if the tour guide spoke a bit about the tensions between two groups, or how someone is running for office, or the war between the Land of Thought and another land, it would introduce some sort of conflict and deeper interest to the piece.

Overall, this is a really interesting premise and I can't wait to read Part Two! If you're interested in diving further down the publication route, I know any of the editors at Radiate Literary (the journal I work for) would be happy to work one-on-one with this as a submission. I highly encourage you to keep polishing and expanding this piece - it has so much potential and is already fascinating. Great work!

Thank you for the advice! I was a bit worried about the context in the beginning, so I'll definitely work on it!

— Magestorrrow