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And to begin a sentence #172851
01/25/08 02:02 AM
01/25/08 02:02 AM
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Bigwig Rabbit Offline OP
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Bigwig Rabbit  Offline OP
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The word "and" is a conjunction and therefore should not begin a sentence. I understand its use at the beginning of dialog and in certain situations in fictional literature. My beef is that it is widely (mis)used in all types of writing. My particular gripe is when this is done in children's text books. It is appallingly common. I guess at least I have examples of exactly how not to write. (edit) That sentence is awkward, an example of how not to write.

Last edited by Bigwig Rabbit; 01/25/08 02:04 AM.
Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: Bigwig Rabbit] #172853
01/25/08 02:17 AM
01/25/08 02:17 AM
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this too shall pass
tsuwm Offline
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And I like end-placed prepositions and sentences beginning with conjunctions. Some of these old grammatic shibboleths need to be tossed out with the bathwater, and don't bother shouting gardyloo.

(I highly recommend David Crystal's The Fight for English for much more on this topic.)

-joe (to boldly rant) friday

Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: Bigwig Rabbit] #172854
01/25/08 02:19 AM
01/25/08 02:19 AM
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belMarduk Offline
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Allo Bigwig.

When I took creative writing classes in college, we were taught that current usage allows for using "and" at the beginning of a sentence, that it a common technique when writing as if one is speaking out loud.

Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: belMarduk] #172858
01/25/08 03:18 AM
01/25/08 03:18 AM
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Bigwig Rabbit Offline OP
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Bigwig Rabbit  Offline OP
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Yes, belMarduk, I must grudgingly accept the existence of this as a convention in creative writing. I reject it in expository writing or in like genre. An analogy might be the use of the prefix "dis" (as I mentioned in a previous thread) in place of "dys" by folk etymology for a word like diskenisia, properly spelled dyskenisia, but commonly used inappropriately (a google search will elucidate the matter).

I am continually chagrined at Saki (H.H. Munro), of all people. He begins sentences with "and" regularly. Love his work, though. Misuse is grating on the nerves, I say. I will now need to take a chill pill and use an ample amount of brainbleach.

And the earth was without form ... [Re: tsuwm] #172861
01/25/08 07:54 AM
01/25/08 07:54 AM
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R'lyeh
zmjezhd Offline
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Oh, big sigh. Good writers have been using and and but to begin sentences since Old English. (Just take a gander at how many sentences begin with and in the King James version of the Bible (starting with Genesis). According to John McElroy, in his Structure of English Prose: A Manual of Composition and Rhetoric (1885), George Campbell, the peevish, was the first to rant about this common usage in his Philosophy of Rhetoric (1776). Happy reading. (BTW, I agree with my esteemed colleague, tsuwm, in his suggesting Professor Crystal.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: Bigwig Rabbit] #172863
01/25/08 10:59 AM
01/25/08 10:59 AM
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Netherlands, the Hague
BranShea Offline
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Interesting, Bigwig, you bring this "And" up. Though I'm unaware and a bit careless of any rules there may be in writing I share this dislike of too many ands at the start of a sentence. It was on this forum I started the habit to check my posts on this. A matter of composition, I guess.
And..and... zmjezhd is right in that in this Bible it may be so imbedded in the total cadence that it is not irritating. As is the case in any GOOD writing.
In whichever way, the use should be functional, I think.

(I also avoid listening to conversations that go from one and to another.)

Yes, obviously zmjezhd, in Genesis all the ands in this great beginning are fully functional.Would be a loss if they were left out.

Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: tsuwm] #173376
02/09/08 09:54 AM
02/09/08 09:54 AM
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कहीं &...
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latishya Offline
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कहीं &...
Originally Posted By: tsuwm
And I like end-placed prepositions and sentences beginning with conjunctions. Some of these old grammatic shibboleths need to be tossed out with the bathwater, and don't bother shouting gardyloo.

(I highly recommend David Crystal's The Fight for English for much more on this topic.)

-joe (to boldly rant) friday


Also, the excellent Linguistics and Your Language by Robert A. Hall Jr., and Language Myths edited by Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill. One of the myths examined in the latter is "women talk too much", with some quite astonishing and slightly scary data.

Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: latishya] #173390
02/09/08 03:31 PM
02/09/08 03:31 PM
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R'lyeh
zmjezhd Offline
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the excellent Linguistics and Your Language by Robert A. Hall Jr.

I second the motion. I own the first, vanity-published edition, under a different title Leave Your Language Alone! Also good is Ronald Wardhaugh's Proper English: Myths and Misunderstandings About Language.

"women talk too much"

This meme has been much discussed on Language Log.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: zmjezhd] #173400
02/09/08 08:07 PM
02/09/08 08:07 PM
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कहीं &...
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latishya Offline
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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
Also good is Ronald Wardhaugh's Proper English: Myths and Misunderstandings About Language.


Thanks. I read the two I mentioned after seeing them lauded by languagehat. I only borrowed them through my local library, but now must own them. I shall look out for Wardhaugh's as well.

Re: And to begin a sentence [Re: Bigwig Rabbit] #173401
02/09/08 08:37 PM
02/09/08 08:37 PM
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Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bigwig Rabbit
The word "and" is a conjunction and therefore should not begin a sentence.


Is it OK to use "and" to begin a sentence if you're using it as a verb?

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