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Re: And now for something completely different

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg120492] Re: And now for something completely different
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at eecs.berkeley.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 07:05:46 -0400 (EDT)
  • Delivered-to: l-mathgroup@mail-archive0.wolfram.com
  • References: <201107251129.HAA25514@smc.vnet.net> <52E64356-FB20-4D6A-B89F-9125DD8B55B8@wolfram.com>

On 7/25/2011 7:36 AM, Brett Champion wrote:
> On Jul 25, 2011, at 6:29 AM, Richard Fateman wrote:
>
>> Can you start a paragraph with "And"?
>>
>> http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid090413160418AAyfRO2
>>
>> says, 'No.'
>>
>>
>> Stephen Wolfram often does so, and I find it annoying.
>> example
>> http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-42?firstview=1
>>
> http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-849c-text?firstview=1

Thanks for the pointer!  I now know that Wolfram knows that it will be 
annoying to some people.   I find it interesting that on this particular 
page, striking out each of the "And"s at the beginning of the sentences 
has no negative consequences, at least as I read it.

There is a reason, one that some may dismiss as pedantry, for removing 
the "And"s and fixing some of the
other oddities of Wolfram's prose.  That is,  formal English discourse 
has sentences with "subject" and "predicate". They
adhere to rules of syntax and can be formally diagrammed.  Humans and 
(especially of interest to some people)
computer programs can sometimes read and parse sentences, assign 
semantic interpretations, etc. Sentence fragments
and "extra" words are not helpful.   By the way, a sentence beginning 
with "But" which is not part of a subordinate clause
is also a no-no traditionally...

  Using the word "And" at the beginning of a sentence to indicate that 
this sentence is related to the one before it should not be required 
since adjacent sentences in the same paragraph should be related.  
Adjacent paragraphs in the same chapter should be related as well, so they
need not begin with "And".

The occasional relaxation of rules as some kind of device or flourish 
may be effective.  I find Wolfram's use of "And" to be annoying.
But how did he know he would annoy me?

RJF

>
> Other links, which show up above Yahoo! Answers in a Google search:
>
> http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_start_a_sentence_with_the_word_And
> http://www.dailywritingtips.com/can-you-start-sentences-with-?and?-and-?but?/
> http://www.gpuss.co.uk/english_usage/start_sentence_conjunction.htm
>
> Brett





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