There are four kinds of sentences; each of them accomplishes a different purpose. Every sentence you speak or write either states something, asks a question, gives an order or expresses some kind of emotion. Go ahead — try to write a sentence that does do one of these four things. I bet you can’t do it.
I was going through old files recently and came across an article I photocopied out of a magazine many years ago called “How To Write Good.” The article published the list “author unknown,” but a quick Google revealed the original author to be (I suppose) Frank L. Visco. It was originally published in the June 1986 issue of Writer’s Digest.
I just returned from a trip-of-a-lifetime with my family. Northern Ireland, with a day trip to Dublin, and almost a week in London. So many sites and many fond memories. But don’t worry — I won’t turn this blog into a travel memoir.
But this is a blog about language, and therefore an appropriate place to talk about the strange reality that dialects within English can make it difficult to understand one another. For example, I had the following conversation with a typically friendly taxi driver in Belfast about our visit to the just-opened Titanic exhibit (FYI: the ship was built in Belfast).