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An ode to English grammar


That title — what on Earth could it mean?
Has another heart been torn asunder?
No, it refers to phrases trimmed too lean,
Sentences lacking substance and thunder.

Fragments, as they are commonly known;
Lines missing at least one vital part.
Though unable to stand on their own,
They oft appear in literary art.

These snippets bear just part of the blame —
What a minefield writers must traverse!
Run-ons to wrangle, tense shifts to tame...
It’s hard to tell which hazard is worse.

In a choice between expression and form,
It is tempting to think stylistically.
But it would be smart to stick to the norm
And do what’s correct linguistically.

The author is aware that this is not a true "ode," and also that it employs fragments as a literary device while warning against overusing them.

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Copyright © 2010-2020 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved / This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without prior permission. Please visit maggierascal.com to obtain permission.

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