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Using word order: Editor's Notes #163
April 15, 2014

His mouth was full of vocabulary,
yet there seemed no way to distil it in any kind of order.

--Bernice Rubens

In this issue:

1. Using word order
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

1. Using word order
Native English speakers don't often get into grammatical trouble with basic word order.

Writers do, however, have options about how to arrange some parts of speech for maximum effect. In normal word order, the doer comes first, then the action, followed by the person or thing done unto. Most sentences follow this pattern, lightening the load for readers.

When, however, the writer wants to make the reader stop, look, and listen, changing word order is an option.

Put the most important item at the end of a sentence. Consider these:

In his hand he held a pistol
vs. He held a pistol in his hand.

From the east charged the massive herd of buffalo
vs. The massive herd of buffalo charged from the east.

With her hand on her hip, she hissed, "I said, 'Get out!'"
vs. She hissed, "I said, 'Get out!'" with her hand on her hip.

Most of the time, you want to keep the words flowing along. For best effect, use the road block of changed word order sparingly.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Travel ad: Istanbul is a city of dozens of uncounted mysteries.


3. Interesting Web site
Get critique from other writers or read the bank of articles on this site.

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