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10 Wrong Grammar Rules Everyone Knows


9
Funky Conjunction Shun
But: perfectly acceptable way to start a sentence -- or not so much? Jason Salmon/iStock/Thinkstock
But: perfectly acceptable way to start a sentence -- or not so much? Jason Salmon/iStock/Thinkstock

We all know it's absolutely horrifying to start a sentence with a conjunction. Who would do such a thing?

Everyone. Shakespeare, for one, liked starting with conjunctions so much that sometimes he used two. ("And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.") Or the Beatles: Who can argue that the lovelorn "And I love her" lyric and song title are just not right?

And yet, they are perfectly acceptable ways to start sentences. So why do we all think that "so why do we all think that" is an unacceptable starter for a sentence?

Linguist Arnold Zwicky posits an interesting theory. He says that because many freshly minted English speakers (children) tend to use a lot of conjunctions when they speak ("And I went to the playground. And then I skinned my knee. And my mom wouldn't feed me because she was working on her crossword."), teachers might have gone a little overboard and declared starting with a conjunction to be verboten in written assignments [source: Zwicky].


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