And again and again

January 23, 2013|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

A reader castigated one of The Sun's writers today for starting a sentence with and. The writer appealed to me for a response, as if I possessed the juju to kill a zombie rule. 

Bryan Garner solemnly dismisses the no-beginning-sentences-with-coordinating-conjunctions rule as a superstition. And in that he follows a path trod by H.W. Fowler nearly a century ago. Modern English Usage says flatly: "That it is a solecism to begin a sentence with and is a faintly lingering SUPERSTITION. The OED gives examples ranging from the 10th to the 19th c.; the Bible is full of them."

Indeed it is: "And God saw that it was good." And if God sees that sentences beginning with and are good, who are we to object? 


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