I’ve been quiet for a few days. Have lots of things I’m thinking about and have started some posts, but not finished any of them. Is it because I am depressed and anxious about the upcoming election? (I keep reading about the evils of a Republican takeover of the Senate and fear that voter turnout will be low.) Or is it because there is no fall excitement with the Red Sox in the World Series? (Although I have to say the games have been exciting with the Royals and Giants.) Maybe I’m suffering from sleep deprivation since I have a cat who has decided she needs attention at 10:30, 11:30 and between 12 and 1 am. I think she may be having delayed moving anxiety. Whatever. I still don’t sleep.
Then I came upon this humor piece from the New Yorker by James Thomas
Well, here you are, looking at this, trying, hoping, floundering, scrabbling, wishing, dying to find out the mystery of “how to” write a sentence. Or possibly you have tried write sentence and failed utterly.
Ideally, you’ll aim to begin on the left (in this case, with the word “ideally”), head right (through the middle of the sentence), and stop at the far end of the sentence (in this case, right here).
Sentences have been around since the dawn of paragraphs, and indeed since before that, for sentences are essentially the building blobs of a paragraph. Right here, if you’re looking closely enough, you may notice that what you are now reading in fact is a sentence. But also—some will have noticed even more well—what you are reading is a paragraph. And I could go further than that, even, to declare that you are also reading words, letters, and indeed this entire page. Nobody thought you could do it, but here we are now and aren’t you having a good time?
All I need to do according to Mr. Thomas is write a bunch of sentences and blob them into paragraphs and before you know it I will have a post!
Even furthermore, you’re reading everything that has ever been wrote, but you’re starting with just this bit, because reading everything at once would be too much for anyone to attempt. Too much words in one go is unacceptable, and your writing should reflect that. Keep it concise and don’t stuff your sentence with unnecessary, superfluous, gratuitous content that smothers your prose, muddies your intentions, confuses the reader, clogs up the page with excess text, pads out the work with inelegant drivels, irritates the eye, examines giraffes, and renders your point unclear.
Also, keep your paragraphs short.
How importan is spelling? Well, very important. I don’t know why anyone would even ask that. If you have any sef-respect, you ought to be diligent about and with regard to spelling. If words are the bulding blocks of a sentence—and I would argue that yes, they are—then spelling is the stuff that holds them togteher.
Maybe tomorrow, after absorbing all this advice, I will finish one of my draft posts. After I finish planting my bulbs for the spring.
Illustration from Mindy’s Muses @ mindysmuses.blogspot.com