Sample Handmade Responses to Hale’s Sin and Syntax, Chapter 6, Prepositions with corresponding citations from the chapterAngelo State UniversityEnglish 4361: English GrammarDr. Laurence MusgroveDepartment of English and Modern LanguagesJanuary 31, 2013 www.theillustratedprofessor.com @lemusgro
“The most frequent prepositional sin is to replace one good, terse word witha stack of prepositional phrases… Anytime you can replace a cluster of wordswith one elegant one, do it” (104).
“Have you ever counted the number of ways windy writers and speakersavoid the direct verb now?” (104).
“To test whether a word is a preposition, try putting it in front of the words‘the log’” (99).
“The most common prepositional error is forgetting that the noun in aprepositional phrase is the object of the preposition” (109).
“Some prepositional phrases are more dungeons than closets; trapped withinare much worthier verbs, yearning to burst out” (106).
“Scour your writing for prepositional barnacles worthy only of being scrapedaway, and replace them with simpler words…” (105).
“Anytime you can replace a cluster of words with one elegant one, do it” (104).
“What’s with that headline…..rewrite the thing….which is possible with anactive verb and fewer prepositional phrases” (108).
“The most frequent prepositional sin is to replace one good, terse word with astack of prepositional phrases” (104).
“If you were to compare crafting prose to building a house, the nouns (and pronouns),verbs, adjectives, and adverbs would form the foundation...prepositions might beanalogous to closet doors” (98). “Clear the clutter” (104).
“Prepositions often convey spatial relationships, telling us where X is in relationto Y” (99).
“Prepositions create mischief…prepositions are indispensable” (101).
“Ideas expressed through prepositional phrases must be carefully crafted intoparallel pieces” (102). “Those two prepositional phrases are nice andsymmetrical, adding rhythmic value to the sentence” (102).
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