What is your function, Conjunction Junction?

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"The most striking feature of elegant prose is balanced sentence structures. You most easily balance one part of a sentence against another by coordinating them with and, or, nor, but and yet, but you can also balance noncoordinated phrases and clauses." page 120 of Joseph Williams' Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace


I like to think that my writing is smooth and elegant. Of course, I like to think a lot of positive things about my writing but not all of them are true, even if my ego says otherwise. In the past, I've always found using conjunctions to be an easy way to elegantly coordinate the flow of my sentences. If I ever came across a sentence with a pair or more of clauses that didn't coordinate I simply broke them apart into separate sentences to avoid trying to balance them. It never occurred to me that they could be coordinated without the use of conjunctions, which in my writing have a tendency to emerge quite often.

That's really something I might need to try and reexamine in an attempt to add more eloquence to my writing. I'm not one who likes to repeat the same words over too often when I write. Most of the time, however, I focus not repeating adjectives and words that start sentences. Constantly repeating conjunctions can make it look like you're going for something too complex and that your thoughts are too broad to be gathered.

Once again, simplicity reigns supreme in Williams' ninth chapter. Conjunctions are fine when used somewhat occasionally and properly. When you can subtly use other words to create elegantly flowing sentences, that's when your writing becomes something far better than average.

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