Let us have a conversation, friend, on how to write a sentence, and if we do it right my friend, let it be a pleasure, not a penance.
The ancient Greek poet Homer knew that language needs to be sonorous to be remembered. Long lines of disconnected, harsh sounding words are hard to memorize. Words must make sense and should sound pleasing, language being music to the ears and food for the soul.
In her writing Gertrude Stein famously avoided commas as unnecessary interruptions in the flow of thought. One made up thought floating out there in the internet is this:
Commas are the slaves of the sentence, according to Stein, and we know that slavery is never a good thing. If the sentence can’t make sense without multiple commas, rewrite it.
We know it is made up because it has several commas and repeats. Wait, I take half that back since, “a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”
Stein did say this:
“A comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma.”
Now isn’t that nicely said without a pause or a comma?
So, should I say:
Let us have a conversation friend on how to write a sentence; and if we do it right my friend let it be a pleasure not a penance.
If you noticed the switch from comma to semi-colon, give yourself bonus points.
Disons nous une conversation mes amies sur la façon d’écrire une clause; Et si nous nous la faisons bien mes amis laisse faire plaisir et ne pas pénitentiaire.