Discuss Jon Baker's answer to: Types of Sentences

Which Types of Sentences are mostly used in writing?

Sentence structure should be simple, direct, and clear.  For example, here is a run-on sentence.

"I can't stand my husband because he never tells me what he is doing at work where he went afterwards who he was with and why he was there but the worst thing is I never get to go on these little junkets like into the jungle or the desert with his platoon and isn't that just awful?"

Graphing that sentence would be difficult.  Let's dissect it (hopefully alive and with a chainsaw). 

"I can't stand my husband . . .."  Okay, we have a declarative sentence.  It is tight and understandable, but it doesn't say much.  We don't know who said it or why she said it.  Let's try for a clarification.

"I can't stand my husband," said Mary Jones. 

Okay, now we have some idea who said what but we don't know why.

"George never tells me what he is doing at work."  Now we have an idea that she is married to George and we have some inkling as to her complaint.

"George never tells me where he goes after work."  Again, we have to wonder why. 

"The worst thing is he never takes me on these little junkets into the jungle or desert with his platoon."  The key noun here is 'platoon,' a military unit.  So, we have a grievance common to military wives: that they cannot go with their husbands into combat.

"Isn't that just awful?"  Besides her calling on us to make a moral judgment (based on less than complete information) and have no authority to make such a judgment, we must consider that we are dealing with a person who would have us make a judgment.

If the judgment we make is in error, then the actions we make will also be in error.


"The one word I will have you mark out of your dictionary and thesaurus is, impossible."
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