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minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 23 17:27:58 EST 2004


widdy wrote:

>On Friday, January 23, 2004, at 07:48  AM, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>> If we put the semicolon or full stop in the other position (accepting
>> that
>> a sentence starting "But' is an abomination and a sin against the Holy
>> Ghost, or whatever else, but ignoring that just for once...)
>
>But according to Amis ("The King's English"):
>
>"And the idea that 'and' must not begin a sentence, or even a
>paragraph, is an empty superstition. The same goes for 'but.' Indeed
>either word can give unimprovably early warning of the sort of thing
>that is to follow."

Um, actually I wasn't being entirely one hundred per cent serious in
suggesting that this was a sin against the Holy Ghost -- I would have
thought the hyperbolic language ought to be a bit of a dead giveaway,
really.  :-)

The only grounds I could see for objecting to the sentence as presented
were that it began with "But", so I thought I would mention the objection
in order to eliminate it in advance.

And as for beginning sentences with "and", was it not to this list that I
sent a post pointing out that in the King James bible, Luke Chapter 2
starts the chapter with "And" and goes on to have 39 of its 52 verses
starting with "And", and 2 with "But"?  Maybe it wasn't... Well, it does.


BTW, the copy of *The King's English* that I have is firmly marked as
having been written by a brace of Fowlers, not by Amis.  :-)

Minnow


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