Breaking the rules (1)


Breaking the rules… part 1

Language is versatile and always changing. We are taught the ‘rules’ of grammar so that we can writea correct and comprehensible text and not sound stupid when doing so.
Due to modern dayconstraints of style and space because of texting, tweeting, slogans and brand names, copy- andcontent writers often do not have the luxury of concentrating on grammar.
But how relevant arethese rules in this day and age anyway?

Grammar guidelines are just that, a reference to be used when in doubt.
If you have more confidencein your writing ability, you can play around with language and use it as you want.However, never forget the content your produce is a reflection of your company or brand and inmost cases, you want to be professional.
There is a certain threshold of professional writing. Thisdoesn’t mean however, that you can’t break a few rules along the way.

Here is one such rule you can break.

Don’t start a sentence with ‘and, because, but, or, so, also’.

But what if it flows better that way?

At school, many children are taught that it is incorrect grammar to start a sentence with aconjunction.
The rule makes sense for teachers needing a simple way to teach pupils how to breaksentences and for preventing listed narratives (and then this…and then that…).
But we are no longer in school and there is actually nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction.
« And », « but » and « so » are fundamental in linking individual sentences into a coherent passage.
They may be used to start a sentence when the clauses being connected are too long or complicated to fit neatly in a single – long – sentence.
Avoiding these words could lead to redundant clauses or phrases, leaving sentences awkward and wordy.
The word ‘because’ is often used at the start of a sentence when introducing an explanation that has been placed in front of a main clause, for example: ‘Because you love me, I am happy.’
It can also start a single clause when serving as the answer to a why question: ‘Why can’t I have a dog?’, ‘Because I said so.’
The occasional use of a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence can be versatile and effective.
It can grab people’s attention and emphasise a point. But, as in all things, use in moderation.


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