Did you know there are only three sentences in the English language? In any language, really. Okay, maybe there are five, but really that’s just splitting hairs.
What am I talking about? The nitty girtty. The down and dirty.
Okay, the really nerdy.
Yep, that’s right - I’m talking about syntax.
No, actually, pretty darn cool, if you get right down to it. And it’s true. There are only three sentences.
1) The woman screamed.
2) The woman was dead.
3) The police dredged the lake.
(There’s also: 4) My man stole me a diamond and 5) The girl got taken hostage. but some say they don’t count.)
Is everyone having flashbacks to second grade yet? Wait, before you click away, just remember this:
80% of your writing should be sentence #3. That’s subject, verb, direct object, my dears. If your writing is flagging, has no oomph, lacks pizazz, check your sentence structure. Chances are, you’re at something less than 80% of Sentence #3.
Really. Try it and see.
Now, to win a really dorky prize (a used copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and a few of my own terribly witty contributions to their examples), just do the following - tell us all what the structure of each of the other sentences I mentioned is - sentences 1, 2, 4 and 5. I’ll randomly choose from the correct answers (if there are that many) and mail that gem off to the lucky syntactition!