I dunno (comma) Sam. That sentence was somewhat unwieldy I agree, but it said what the writer wanted said. (Should I have put that comma after "agree" do you think? Probably not.) A few points come to mind:
- 1) "Give me a break" Brilliant and subtle pun, Sam. World class.
- 2) When we were all forced to study grammar in the 1950s the world was full of gerunds and split infinitives and even the teachers did not really have their hearts in what they were trying to impart. When was it that Churchill wrote mockingly: "ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put"?
- 3) I thought about long sentences in literature and almost at once remembered T.S.Eliot whom I had mentioned elsewhere here recently:
- "And every phrase
- And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
- Taking its place to support the others,
- The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
- An easy commerce of the old and the new,
- The common word exact without vulgarity,
- The formal word precise but not pedantic,
- The complete consort dancing together)
- Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
- Every poem an epitaph."
To make matters worse the above sentence starts with another no-no - "And" - as did the following sentence which commences: "And any action is a step to the block....." But in defence of my choosing it, it is a sentence concerning the appropriateness of words. And more than any other recognises their importance.
Where was I?
- Yes, Alan, you are justified in your criticism of my change, particularly the fact that that sentence did, in, fact, say what the author seemed to intend, even though it struck me as not artful, inasmuch as it sort of went back and forth between discussing Dr. Arnold and discussing the game of rugby, a situation that I was intent on repairing, though it soon became apparent that my efforts may not have actually been making it better, leading me to believe that perhaps what I was doing may not have been a good idea, particularly insofar as it required a digression into some quick research on the connections among rugby, European football, and soccer, and the discovery that, inasmuch as the game of rugby seems to have originated in the mid-19th century while "modern" soccer and football seem to date from later than that, serious doubt arose as to whether what I wound up saying about the history and lineage of these games bore any sensible connection to reality, eventually leading to my decision just to hit "save page" and hope for the best.