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Thread: Combining Two Sentences

  1. #71
    To review, it matters how you combine two sentences. No one said this was a momentous decision. But it has consequences. People is this thread are taking a lot into account in deciding how to combine two sentences.

    Some writers use all four methods; some, for one reason another, don't use one of them.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  2. #72
    I never posted this quote on not using the connecting word. It's from the writing center at the University of North Carolina.

    The semicolon allows the writer to imply a relationship between nicely balanced ideas without actually stating that relationship. (Instead of saying because my grandmother is afraid she'll miss out on something, we have implied the because. Thus the reader is involved in the development of an idea—a clever, subliminal way of engaging the reader's attention.)

    Obviously, while this focuses on semicolons, it applies equally to dashes and comma splices. (Except the dashes might not be between nicely balanced ideas.)

    I find that when I connect two sentences while editing, I almost never add the connecting word. My guess is that's because if I wanted or needed the connecting word, I would have put it in the first draft.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  3. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Isn't the primary purpose of a semicolon to join sentences that are very closely related?

    Incidentally, when I was looking up antithesis (the name of that rhetorical device), I came upon Neil Armstrong's famous quote: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Anyone who's heard the quote knows how much of a pause Armstrong puts between the two parts, yet the comma remains in every instance I've come across. Is that just an illustration of the difference between spoken and written words, or is something else going on there?
    I suspect that the long pause occurred because he realised that he had just screwed up a line that was, perhaps, going to be the most famous line in modern history. Then he just carried on hoping that no-one would notice. I reckon that a semicolon or a dash would do the job whereas a comma is not quite enough.

  4. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine View Post
    I suspect that the long pause occurred because he realised that he had just screwed up a line that was, perhaps, going to be the most famous line in modern history. Then he just carried on hoping that no-one would notice. I reckon that a semicolon or a dash would do the job whereas a comma is not quite enough.
    To me, a semicolon doesn't begin to capture the length of that pause. Ellipsis? Period?

    But punctuation plays a lot of roles, and they aren't always consistent. Ellipsis and period don't fit with the parallel form.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  5. #75
    I came across this:

    He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
    So that's a fifth way of joining two independent clauses -- a conjunction with no preceding comma. I was making a big deal out this one sentence, until I realized the author did it a lot. I mean, a lot. Two of the remaining four sentences in this paragraph alone are that way.

    I think it breaks the rules (for example, Strunk and White). More practically, one website noted that this was done occasionally, for short or "balanced" independent clauses. Which doesn't fit the above.

    But in The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway just did it all the time.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

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