§7.15. Kinds of action

Especially when people need to react to events going on around them, it is helpful to be able to categorise actions into whole areas of behaviour. For instance:

Kissing Mr Carr is unmaidenly behaviour.
Doing something to the painting is unmaidenly behaviour.

Instead of unmaidenly behaviour in the Inn, say "How unmaidenly!"

Here a new kind of action called "unmaidenly behaviour" has been created and then used in the description of an instead rule. The convenience of this approach is that when further actions suddenly occur to us as also being unmaidenly - say, attacking Mr Carr - we only need to add a single line:

Attacking Mr Carr is unmaidenly behaviour.

And this will automatically be reflected in any rules which concern the consequences of failing to be ladylike.

(Note that we were only allowed to say that "Kissing Mr Carr is unmaidenly behaviour." because Inform already knew from earlier sentences - see the example below - that Mr Carr was a person, and therefore that "kissing Mr Carr" made sense as a description of an action.)


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*ExampleDearth and the Maiden
Our heroine, fallen among gentleman highwaymen, is restrained by her own modesty and seemliness.

***ExampleMimicry
People who must be greeted before conversation can begin.