Wordtrails #24 Legit Sentence Fragments…who knew!

Posted by on January 31, 2013 in 2012 Blogs | 0 comments

419,Learned something today. In my work I consistently avoid sentence fragments unless they are parts of a conversation. We seldom speak in complete sentences. However, I just finished Will Fergusion’s 419 and found it to be riddled with sentence fragments in the middle of simple prose.

[“The mangrove forests were breathing. Wet sighs and soft lapping sounds.”    “…when she kicked something underfoot. A twenty-dollar bill.”]

Since he is a recognized author and winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, I was curious and consulted Pentice Hall’s Reference Guide to Grammar and Usage. Turns out these fragments are called intentional fragments and are used for effect. They are legitimate so long as the rest of the writing clearly indicates that it could have been a full sentence. Who knew?  Now I DO.

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