Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Books that teach and books that entertain while they teach

JoAnn Arnold

I'm sitting here with a book that tells me where to put the commas. As I read that I'm to use commas between coordinate adjectives not jointed by a coordinating conjunction, and not to use a comma between cumulative adjectives, a frown appeared on my face. Next, I read how to use commas to set of nonrestrictive word groups and how not to use commas to set off restrictive word groups. Then on to Using commas to set off conjunctive adverbs, transitional expressions, parenthetical expressions, absolute phrases, and contrasted elements, etc., etc.

Now, some of this stuff I already knew. But, some of it apparently doesn't hold true in writing a novel and that's where I start getting confused. Do you, too?

Sitting in front of me is another book. It's called "Treasury of Wisdom". Because it's much more fun to read, I'm not going to bother to share the in's and out's of commas, I'm going to share some wisdom.

Mark Twain said, "When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them . . . then the rest will be valuable. they weaken when they are close together. they give strength when they are wide apart."

Winston Churchill stated, "From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

Ray Bradbury: "My stories run up and bite me on the leg. I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off."

And as Norman Augustine so eloquently put it, "Simply stated, it is sagacious to eschew obfuscation." (You may have to look that one up. I did)

I love my treasury of wisdom. The coma book . . . not that's something I'll have to work on.

Thank you for visiting my post and have a very good day


Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

Loved this post ... especially the quote by Ray Bradbury!