Heidi Harley

Website: http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~hharley/

Posts by Heidi Harley:

    Keep related words, as a rule, together

    Whee! I think I'm the first to post using the swanky new system, which has a wisywig interface and everything! First!

    Nodding to the giant posts of yesteryear, I return to the Language Log classic of finding howlers in that horrid little book.

    I hadn't looked at the thing since freshman composition, remembering it vaguely only through the scientific and unbiased reminders provided by Language Log posts. But a talk I attended last Friday referred to a S&W rule, purportedly about avoiding ambiguity: "Keep related words together".

    I was curious about how Strunk and White would formulate the notion of 'related words', so I went to check it out. And, I kid you not, this is the formulation of the rule:

    "The subject of a sentence and the principal verb should not, as a rule, be separated by a phrase or clause that can be transferred to the beginning."

    I was afraid someone was playing a joke on me. But no, that's really it!

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Comments off