Saturday, November 07, 2015

Peever and peeveress He created them

How are things on the Get Off My Lawn front over at The Journalist's Bible?
Q. Is it permissible (by today's rules) to start a sentence with "And"? – from Vancouver, Wash. on Thu, Nov 05, 2015
A. Yes, but avoid overusing that phrasing.

Apparently we're not going to set this one to rest without appealing to a Higher Power, so -- how about it, Creator of Heaven and Earth?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

OK, so it takes the almighty all of two verses to drop a coordinating conjunction on an independent clause. Surely He wouldn't overuse that phrasing, would He?
  • And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.*
  • And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
  • And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
  • And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
  • And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
  • And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Calm down, ye peevers, and notice a few things God didn't do. "It's official: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," for example. The gloves goeth not on, the gloves cometh not off, and Christmas cometh not early (though -- spoilers! -- that's a plot point in the sequel). But if your question is whether "today's rules" allow you to begin a sentence with "and," the answer is: Yes, and they have ever since "today's rules" meant Shakespeare. And you could look it up, but you (and the AP editors) probably have better stuff to do.

* I know it's traditional to number the verses, but bullets would have looked better on the PowerPoint

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