Writing Tips and Tricks

FANBOYS

It’s a common myth you can’t start a sentence with a conjunction: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So (FANBOYS).

We are taught at school it’s grammatical incorrect, because it’s easier to teach. At a young age a conjunction can easily become a fragmented sentence or be used incorrectly. Nevertheless, I don’t believe in deliberately teaching children the wrong thing (Santa Claus anyone?). Because as adults, these beliefs can still stick with them.

Yet, starting a sentence with a conjunction is not a new written style. It’s in classic novels like The Emperor’s New Clothes. People naturally say ‘and’ or ‘but’ to start a sentence, so why not in writing?

Unless you’re writing a formal academic report, starting a sentence with a conjunction is grammatically correct. Oxford states that many respected writers consider this an advanced writing technique. This view is also supported by Cambridge and Merriam-Webster.

Still not convinced?

Steven Pinker, linguist scientist and best-selling author of The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, said not every ‘…bit of grammatical folklore, or dimly remembered lesson from Miss Thistlebottom’s classroom is worth keeping.’ He concluded with the Johnny Cash line, ‘because you’re mine, I walk the line.’

And (conjunction alert!) who would dare to argue with this face?

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