Monday, September 22, 2014

Sentence-starting conjunctions

“From at least the time of Chaucer, expert writers have tended to begin 10–20% of their sentences with conjunctions”: Yes, Virginia, you can begin a sentence with a conjunction. Bryan Garner explains: Conjunctions as sentence-starters.

Students often tell me that in past classrooms, the sentence-starting and and but have been off limits. Because too. Good thing no one told Emily Dickinson.

[Orange Crate Art is a Garner-friendly zone.]

comments: 2

Zach said...

i enjoyed reading your blog. it brought back fond memories of my college days. i don't pretend to be a writer (i'm a painter), so it's no great shock that i always scraped by with a c in my english classes.

punctuation is something that totally baffles me, and that's why i love the poems of william carlos williams, emily dickinson, and e.e. cummings.

thanks for this really cool post. i like to read good books (and good blogs). i keep hoping some of it will rub off on me...

Michael Leddy said...

Zach, thanks for your comment. I like ED and EE and WCW too. Also Apollinaire, punctuation-free.

It’s funny you should mention punctuation: there are a couple of posts here — one, two — that explain everyday punctuation while using almost no grammatical terms. You might find them of interest.