Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I like the 140 character limitation of Twitter. I wouldn't want that limitation lifted.

I'm currently reading How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish. Fish breaks down sentence structure not by traditional grammar but by logic and feel. Fish believes you need to learn how to feel the way a sentence is structured and that it takes years of practice to achieve a feeling of logical sentence structure. You may know everything there is about grammar but knowing this won't help you feel your way to a great and logical sentence.

According to Fish, what it takes to write brilliant sentences is knowing "what makes a sentence more than a random list, [that you need to] practice constructing sentences and explaining what you have done, and [by doing so] you will know how to make sentences forever and you will know too when what you are writing doesn't make the grade because it has denegrated into a mere pile of discrete items."

Fish also references the idea of forms and that sometimes form limitations help to foster creativity. William Wordsworth stated that limitations remove "the weight of too much liberty."

Writes Fish, "If the moves you can perform are prescribed and limited...each move can carry a precise significance."

Wordsworth was happy to be bound by limited forms, "to be bound / Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground."

Maybe that's why I like Twitter so much.

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