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Is 'Cuffed' Acceptable? (1 Viewer)

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
It's a minor problem and just something I'd like to know in order to avoid the repetition of 'hand'. This is the sentence I'm changing:

He sipped coffee from a polystyrene cup, cradled in shaky, cuffed hands.
 

Mark Twain't

Staff member
Global Moderator
Speaking purely as a reader, it looks fine to me. 'handcuffed hands' would look odd, almost jarring.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
I wouldn't use it as an adjective at all. I don't think it's clear. Readers will think you meant "cupped". Describe that his hands are handcuffed in another sentence or phrase. "He managed to sip his coffee, but it was awkward. With handcuffs on, he had to raise both hands to his mouth."

Not that, but that's the idea. Anytime you're uncomfortable about how your modifiers are working, it's going to be one of two things. (a) There are more than you really need, or (b) you're trying to crowd too much into one sentence and need to break it up.

(BTW, this thread is fine where it is. It doesn't need to be moved per your question).
 
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Matchu

Senior Member
Def article before ‘shaky’ improves flow...even so ‘cradled’ is the palms facing up - and not around. It is not sincere.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
He sipped coffee from a polystyrene cup, cradled in shaky, cuffed hands.
Sometimes having more descriptors dilutes the power of the description. Have you mentioned elsewhere that he's handcuffed? If so you can just go with 'shaky hands'.
 

Irwin

Senior Member
It's a minor problem and just something I'd like to know in order to avoid the repetition of 'hand'. This is the sentence I'm changing: He sipped coffee from a polystyrene cup, cradled in shaky, cuffed hands.
Maybe something like this would work:

He sipped coffee from a polystyrene cup, cradled in shaky, cuffed hands and wondered: what's the deal with handcuffs? They're not cuffing my hands; they're cuffing my wrists. They should be called wristcuffs. And what's the deal with decaf? How do they get the caffeine out of there, and then where does it go? And what about lampshades? I mean, if it's a lamp, why do you want shade?
 
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