Monday, November 17, 2008

Editorial Tip of the Week: A New Beginning

Take a breath and relax. According to The Chicago Manual of Style, the widespread panic caused by sentences that begin with conjunctions is unnecessary.

There are still some things to keep in mind, such as whether to use and or but. Chicago states that the correct choice is but when a new sentence creates a contrast to the preceding one. Strunk and White's Elements of Style acknowledges that the use of conjunctions to begin sentences is part of standard English, but advises to use it sparingly in order for the writing to be most effective.

So, it is perfectly acceptable to use and, but, or so to begin a sentence. Conjunctions can even lead to your next paragraph. And sometimes that's all the help a writer needs to keep the pen moving.

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