Exercise I. Comment on the length, the structure, thecommunicative type and punctuation of sentences, indicatingconnotations created by them:
1. The sick child complained that his mother was going to read to him again from the same book: "What did you bring that book I don't like to be read aloud to out of up for?" (E.)
2. Now, although we were little and I certainly couldn't be dreaming of taking Fonny from her or anything like that, and although she didn't really love Fonny, only thought mat she was supposed to because she had spasmed him into this woild, already, Penny's mother didn't like me. (J.B.)
3. The congregation amened him to death; a big sister, in the pulpit, in her long white robe, jumped up and did a little shout; they cried. Help him, Lord Jesus, help him! and the moment he sat down, another sister, her name was Rose and not much later she was going to disappear from the church and have a baby - and I still remember the last time I saw her, when I was about 14 walking the streets in the snow with her face all marked and her hands all swollen and a rag around her head and her stockings falling down singing to herself- stood up and started singing. (J.B.)
4. Than Roy no one could show a more genuine cordiality to a fellow novelist. (S.M.)
5. Such being at bottom the fact, I think it is well to leave it at that. (S M.)
6. Yet at least Mucho, the used car salesman, had believed in the cars. Maybe to excess: how could he not, seeing people poorer than him come in, Negro, Mexican, cracker, a parade seven days a week, bringing the most Godawful of trade-ins: motorized metal extensions of themselves, of their families and what their whole lives must be like, out there so naked for anybody, a stranger like himself, to look at, frame cockeyed, rusty underneath, fender repainted in a shade just off enough to depress the value, if not Mucho himself, inside smelling hopelessly of children, supermarket booze, two, sometimes three generations of cigarette smokers, or only of dust - and when the cars were swept out you had to look at the actual residue of these lives, and there was no way of telling what things had been truly refused (when so little he supposed came by that out of fear most of it had to be taken and kept) and what had simply (perhaps tragically) been lost: clipped coupons promising savings of 5 to 10 cents, trading stamps, pink flyers advertizing specials at the market, butts, tooth-shy combs, help-wanted ads. Yellow Pages torn from the prione book, rags of old underwear or dresses that were already period costumes, for wiping your own breath off the inside of a windshield with so you could see whatever it was, a movie, a woman, or car you coveted, a cop who might pull you over just for drill, all the bits and pieces coated uniformly, like a salad of despair, in a grey dressing of ash, condensed exhaust, dust, body wastes - it made him sick to look, but he had to look (Th.P.)
7. Soldiers with their cartridges gone wandered aimlessly out of the chapparal, dragging their rifles and plunged into the brush again on the other side of the railroad, black with powder, streaked with sweat, their eyes vacantly on the ground. (J.R.)
8. Strolling up and down the Main Street, talking in little groups on the corners, lounging in and out of strike headquarters were hundreds of big strong-faced miners in their Sunday best. (J.R.)
9. I am, he thought, a part of all that I have touched and that has touched me, which having for me no existence save that I gave to it, became other than itself by being mixed with what I then was, and is now still otherwise, having fused with what I now am, which is itself a cumulation of what I have been becoming. (T.W.)
10. I like people. Not just empty streets and dead buildings. People. People. (P. A.)
11. "You know so much. Where is she?" "Dead. Or in a crazy house. Or married. I think she's married and quieted down." (T.C.)
12. "Jesus Christ! Look at her face!" Surprise. "Her eyes is closed!" Astonishment. "She likes it!" Amazement.
"Nobody could take my picture doing that!" Moral disgust. "Them goddam white folks!" Fascinated fear. (Wr.)
13. What courage can withstand the ever-enduring and all-besetting terrors of a woman's tongue? (W. I.)
14. "You talk of Christianity when you are in the act of banging your enemies. Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!" (B.Sh.)
15. What is the good of sitting on the throne when other fellows give all the orders? (B.Sh.)
16. And what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody? (R. Fr)
17. Father, was that you calling me? Was it you, the voiceless and the dead? Was it you, thus buffeted as you lie here in a heap? Was it you thus baptized unto Death? (D.)
18. "Let us see the state of the case. The question is simple. The question, the usual plain, straight-forward, common-sense question. What can we do for ourself? What can we do for ourself?" (D.)
19. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull narrowed his eyes in fierce concentration, held his breath, forced one... single - more... inch... of... curve-Then his feathers raffled, he stalled and fell. (Rch. B.)
20. "Jake, will you get out!" said Magdalen. (I.M.)
21. A boy and a girt sat on stools drinking pop. An elderly man alone - someone John knew vaguely by sight - the town clerk? - sat behind an empty Coca-Cola bottle. (P. Q.)
22. What your doctor learned: biggest A.M.A. convention ever is full of medical news about remedies and treatments he may (sob!) be using on you. (M.St.)
23. The neon lights in the heart of the city flashed on and off. On and off. On. Off. On. Off. Continuously. (P. A.)
24. Bagdworthy was in seventh heaven. A murder! At Chimneys! Inspector Badgworthy in charge of the case. The police have a clue. Sensational arrest. Promotion and kudos for the afforementioned Inspector. (Ch.)
25. What is the opposite of faith? Not disbelief.Too final, certain, closed. Itself a kind of belief. Doubt. (S.R.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Comment on the length of the sentence and its stylistic relevance.
2. What do you know about one-word sentences?
3. Is there any correlation between the length and the structure of the sentence?
4. Can syntactical ambivalence be put to stylistic use?
5. What punctuation marks do you know and what is their stylistic potential?
Punctuation also specifies the communicative type of the sentence. So, as you well know, a point of interrogation marks a question and a full stop signals a statement. There are cases though when a statement is crowned with a question mark. Often this punctuation-change is combined with the change of word-order, the latter following the pattern of question. This peculiar interrogative construction which semantically remains a statement is called a rhetorical question. Unlike an ordinary question, the rhetorical question does not demand any information but serves to express the emotions of the speaker and also to call the attention of listeners. Rhetorical questions make an indispensable part of oratoric speech for they very successfully emphasize the orator's ideas. In fact the speaker knows the answer himself and gives it immediately after the question is asked. The interrogative intonation and / or punctuation draw the attention of listeners (readers) to the focus of the utterance. Rhetorical questions are also often asked in "unanswerable" cases, as when in distress or anger we resort to phrases like "What have I done to deserve..." or "What shall I do when...". The artificiality of question-form of such constructions is further stressed by exclamation marks which, alongside points of interrogation, end rhetorical questions.
The effect of the majority of syntactical stylistic devices depends on either the completeness of the structure or on the arrangement of its members. The order in which words (clauses) follow each other is of extreme importance not only for the logical coherence of the sentence but also for its connotational meanings. The following sprawling rambling sentence from E. Waugh's novel Vile Bodies, with clauses heaping one over another, testifies to the carelessness, talkativeness and emotionality of the speaker: "Well, Tony rang up Michael and told him that I'd said that William, thought Michael had written the review because of the reviews I had written of Michael's book last November, though, as a matter of fact, it was Tony himself who wrote it." (E.W.) More examples showing the validity of the syntactical pattern were shown in Exercise I on the previous page.
One of the most prominent places among the SDs dealing with the arrangement of members of the sentence decidedly belongs to repetition. ' We have already seen the repetition of a phoneme (as in alliteration), of a morpheme (as in rhyming, or plain morphemic repetition). As a syntactical SD repetition is recurrence of the same word, word combination, phrase for two and more times. According to the place which the repeated unit occupies in a sentence (utterance), repetition is classified into several types: