RE: Re: Can we start a sentence with "or" or "and" in a manual

Subject: RE: Re: Can we start a sentence with "or" or "and" in a manual
From: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
To: "Michelle Despres" <michelle -dot- despres -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 09:53:48 -0800

I would go by this sage bit of advice:

"And let me add a bit more about business writing: Despite the fact that
it's not wrong to start a sentence with however, a lot of people think
it's wrong; so I wouldn't advise doing it in a really important
situation where you don't know the people you are writing for and you
won't get a chance to defend yourself. For example, I wouldn't start a
sentence with however in a cover letter for a job. I'd rather be hired
than be right"
(grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/starting-a-sentence-with-however.aspx)

Leonard

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of Michelle Despres
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 9:40 AM
To: Nancy Allison
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Re: Can we start a sentence with "or" or "and" in a manual

>From CMOS:

There is a widespread belief-one with no historical or grammatical
foundation-that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction
such
as *and*, *but*, or *so*. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as
many
as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with
conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most
conservative
grammarians have followed this practice. Charles Allen Lloyd's 1938
words
fairly sum up the situation as it stands even today: "Next to the
groundless
notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a
preposition,
perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of
our
language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin
one
with 'but' or 'and.' As in the case of the superstition about the
prepositional ending, no textbook supports it, but apparently about half
of
our teachers of English go out of their way to handicap their pupils by
inculcating it. One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a
monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves." Still, *but* as an
adversative conjunction can occasionally be unclear at the beginning of
a
sentence. Evaluate the contrasting force of the *but* in question and
see
whether the needed word is really *and*; if *and* can be substituted,
then *
but* is almost certainly the wrong word. Consider this example: *He went
to
school this morning. But he left his lunchbox on the kitchen table*.
Between
those sentences is an elliptical idea, since the two actions are in no
way
contradictory. What is implied is something like this: *He went to
school,
intending to have lunch there, but he left his lunch behind*. Because
*and*would have made sense in the passage as originally stated,
*but* is not the right word. To sum up, then, *but* is a perfectly
proper
way to open a sentence, but only if the idea it introduces truly
contrasts
with what precedes. For that matter, *but* is often an effective way of
introducing a paragraph that develops an idea contrary to the one
preceding
it.

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 6:59 AM, Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
wrote:

> Or [heh, heh] how about starting a sentence ANYWHERE in ANY DOCUMENT
with
> "Fact is" -- the catchy phrase beloved of knucklehead editors
everywhere.
>
> Fact is, I HATE it.
>
> Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but it's almost Friday . . .
>
> --Nancy
>

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References:
Re: Re: Can we start a sentence with "or" or "and" in a manual: From: Nancy Allison
Re: Re: Can we start a sentence with "or" or "and" in a manual: From: Michelle Despres

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