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Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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glorybee
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Re: Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

Postby glorybee » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:58 pm

...And I still have to look up all the different tenses of 'lie' and 'lay.' Every. Single. Time. I've been known to re-write a sentence in order to avoid having to use any of those words.
Jan Ackerson

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swfdoc1
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Re: Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

Postby swfdoc1 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:12 am

RachelM wrote:I was recently told about a rhetorical device called asyndeton where conjunctions are intentionally left out.


I find asyndeton and its opposite, polysyndeton, amazingly powerful. I used to teach these techniques to my legal writing students, but without using the technical terms. Here's an example:

Normal: Larry returned home after going everywhere his mother had asked him to go--the grocery store, the craft shop, the deli, and the shoe store.

Asyndeton: Larry returned home after going everywhere his mother had asked him to go--the grocery store, the craft shop, the deli, the shoe store.

Polysyndeton: Larry returned home after going everywhere his mother had asked him to go--the grocery store and the craft shop and the deli and the shoe store.

Which trip sounds quick and easy and which sounds arduous? Or which Larry sounds glad to help his mother and which sounds put upon?
Steve
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________
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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glorybee
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Re: Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

Postby glorybee » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:31 am

Larry is a good son!

I've used both of those techniques, too, without knowing that they were things with actual names. Just one more example of the power of a single little word.
Jan Ackerson

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