Today, class, let’s talk about sentence structure.
I could have written, “Sentence structure is the subject I’d like us to talk about.” But that’s not nearly as straightforward as, “Let’s talk about sentence structure.”
Subject-verb-object. Or subject-predicate, since a sentence can consist of only a subject and verb (“You rock!”). Either way, it’s called the simple sentence structure.
“Christians love potlucks.” That’s as clear as it gets.
Yoda would say, “Love potlucks Christians do.” Cute, but not as clear.
Don’t use the simple sentence structure all the time, or your writing will feel choppy. I’ve come across folks who did that. As an editor, I had to mess up their relentlessly straightforward prose to inject rhythm and flow. You need rhythm and flow. But when you’ve got a key point to emphasize, something you want to make utterly understandable to readers, express it with subject-verb-object.
In emails, I always state a request using a simple sentence. Hanging phrases and clauses around the request, with multiple commas, just blurs the request. Likewise with important points in letters, on our websites, etc.
“I’d like to have lunch with you next week.”
Versus: “I don’t know what your schedule looks like, but if you’re interested and available, I would really appreciate the chance to have lunch with you sometime–say, next week?”
A request presented in a short, simple sentence is less likely to be overlooked. Rather, it’ll jump out at people.
Having said that, let me allow you, should you be so inclined, to leave. Or more directly: You are dismissed.Leave a comment