Never let a good sentence end


In an act of aggression of the sort which was all too common in that particular day and age (albeit marginally on what could be termed the decline, although it was by no means clear that said decline would continue, given the social trends becoming increasingly common even at the very moment that Pete stood in the dim light of the moon, his chest heaving in a fight to regain the breath which had been so thoroughly knocked out of him by the exertions of the previous few minutes, waiting to see what reaction his presence elicited from the man who, until that evening, he would never have thought of as his nemesis, this being a role which he had not previously considered candidates for, although in retrospect there had been many possible contenders for the dubious honour of that title) Pete reached out, the length of his sinewy arm surprising even him as it snaked away from his body like a mid-level branch protruding from a deciduous tree, possibly an elm or oak, but a branch which also resembled, in the dim half-light of the evening in which Pete (and, presumably, the notional tree) stood, a large snake, and pushed – not merely with force sufficient to draw attention to the fact of his pushing (although this had been his original intention, before an unexpected rush of adrenaline had prompted him to metaphorically “shift gears” and pursue this alternative, more forceful, course of action) but with enough power to impress upon his opponent the very real possibility of physical combat and, he hoped, the likelihood of his (Pete’s) primacy in such a potential conflict – the centre (both geometrically and, he imagined, psychologically, given the location’s proximity to the vital cardiac organ hidden beneath bone, flesh, skin and, as he discovered, a fine sheen of cold perspiration) of Leo’s chest.

17 comments:

  1. Oh, it's David Foster Wallace.

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  2. Tell that to James Joyce...

    :-)

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  3. Oof. This is exactly the kind of sentence I tend to write (not unnotably in comments like these), though with more semicolons and colons, as a rule, not just commas: before saving, I must go back and forcibly break the sprawling (though grammatical) anaconda of a single-sentence paragraph into reasonably well-delimited and readable sentences.

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  4. Spot the full stop?

    I must make proper friends with the full stop.

    We are the sort of acquaintances who periodically (ho hum) bump into each other at random occasions.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Before I go, a question:

    What should I do about my fondness for the ellipses...?

    (Is that like taking my friendship with the full stop to a depraved level of intimacy, that is, the threesome?)

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  5. What the Dickens?

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  6. All you're missing is a character named Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nürnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shönedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm.

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  7. Isn't this what is generally referred to as 'German'?

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  8. At least there were parentheses within. :)

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  9. "(and, presumably, the notional tree)"
    That killed me!

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  10. endless sentence is as endless as endless sentence is as endless as endless sentence is as endless as endless sentence is endless...

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  11. My high school english teacher would have said, "Proust, Dickens and Faulkner may do that. You may not."

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  12. Friends, this is Henry James.

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  13. Reminds me of the philosophy I read as an undergrad.

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  14. Eek! I always write like this when I've been overstimulated: it HAS to be judiciously edited a few days later, or it will make no freaking sense.

    I also have a bad, bad habit of forgetting to close parentheticals, and - dear Gods - sometimes, even nesting parentheticals. Urgh.

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