What is your take on using 'and' and 'but' to begin sentences? Generally, I find, people are completely divided on this. There are those who regularly do it with out a care, but there are also those who take a sharp intake of breath and shake their heads when they see it. The reason I am asking is because as I was browsing in my favourite book shop yesterday, I came across a second hand copy of Eats, shoots and leaves by Lynne Truss. I know the book was published in 2003 but I hadn't yet got round to reading it, until last night.
I love books like this that get down to the bare bones of writing and grammar and I'd heard this book was good - it is. What is apparent, however, is just how divided people are on the issues surrounding grammar. People have argued for hundreds of years on what constititutes good grammar and are yet to agree. It's no wonder that most of us are confused! There are some really funny examples of grammatical clangers that completely change the meaning of the sentence in the book, and it had certainly made me think about the importance of getting to grips with grammar in my own writing.
My grammar isn't great but it's a lot better than it used to be. The trouble is that different editors have different standards and ideas on the proper use of grammar. Some will allow sentences that begin with 'and' and 'but' whilst others take you to task over it, as I have found, to my cost, recently.
But what is a writer to do?! How can we be expected to write grammatically correct pieces of work if the experts and editors can't agree on what is grammatically correct in the first place. It's enough to give one a headache. I suppose the only thing to do is read the magazines you want to write for and see how they use grammar and follow the house style - it's still migraine inducing, though.
Julie ( a self confessed gramma book collector/freak) xx
PS. How do I post photos on the blog so that they all don't appear at the top of the post and that I can spread them about the post with wild abandon and add captions to them? It's been bugging me for weeks!