Conjunction Junction

5F2D15C6-E9F3-4F05-A089-7609F647F04CEarlier today I wrote a post in which I commented on a blogger who confused the words “than” and “then.” I got some interesting feedback on my post, including one commenter who pointed out that “starting a sentence with ‘but’ (a preposition) is generally frowned upon.”

I admit that I do start a lot of my sentence in my posts with “but” and “and,” both of which are conjunctions. And not to be a stickler, but “but” is very seldom a preposition. When it is used as a preposition, “but” means the same as “except”: “Everyone ate frog legs but Jim. But “but” usually functions as a coordinating conjunction.

Okay, back to the topic at hand. Is the use of a conjunction really frowned upon? Well, I suppose it depends on who you believe. R.W. Burchfield, lexicographer, scholar, and writer, who also edit the Oxford English Dictionary, writes:

“On starting sentences with a conjunction, there is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with ‘and,’ but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial ‘and’ is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues. The same is true with the conjunction ‘but.’ A sentence beginning with ‘and’ or ‘but’ will tend to draw attention to itself and its transitional function.”

Even the venerable Chicago Manual of Style writes:

“There is a widespread belief — one with no historical or grammatical foundation — that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as ‘and,’ ‘but,’ or ‘so’. In fact, a substantial percentage of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice.”

So is the use of a conjunction to start a sentence an erosion of rules of usage? Well, I’m not an expert, but I think that the “rule” about not starting a sentence with “but” or “and” doesn’t represent contemporary thinking on English grammar.

But hey, if you, as a writer or a blogger, don’t want to start your sentences with a conjunction — or a preposition — that’s your right. Whatever floats you boat.

I Don’t Know What I’m Missing

I’ve complained multiple times to the Happinesses Engineers at WordPress about problems with the Reader in the WordPress iOS app. But to no avail. The issue persists.

Once again, this morning I woke up to yet another big gap — this one a seven hour gap — between posts that showed up in my Reader this morning:0A087E00-BFD4-45FF-9733-0FBE488329FD

I’ve tried everything WordPress has suggested to resolve this issue: I refreshed the Reader, I logged out of, and then logged back into, the app. But nothing seems to address the problem.

So, my fellow bloggers, if it appears that I’m ingnoring your posts, not liking them and/or commenting on them, that’s just not the case. I’m just not seeing them in my Reader.

#TMAT120 — Going Commando

I was an usher at an out-of-town wedding and had to get fitted for a tuxedo. All of the men in the wedding party went to the tailor together. We were in a large fitting room when the tailor instructed us to remove our trousers.

Back then I was a hippie who went commando (i.e., I didn’t wear underpants). I dropped trou and there I was with four other guys in the fitting room and I was the only one fully “exposed.”

The tailor knelt down in front of me, my junk in front of his face at eye-level. Unfazed, he looked up at me with a blank expression, and politely asked, “Will you be wearing underpants at the wedding?”

(Exactly 120 words)


9B646C9D-1F1C-4DD6-A2BB-E2848E7E71C6This post was written for this months Tell Me a Tale in (Exactly) 120 Words (#TMAT120) prompt. The challenge is to write about “a funny event in your life.”

Note: this is a highly edited, cut down version of a much longer, 487 word post I wrote in July 2017. If you’re interested in reading the original, click HERE.

Share Your World — I Scream for Ice Cream

Monday has rolled around once again, and you know what that means, right? It’s Melanie’s Share Your World time.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person?

At the risk of coming across as sexist, it’s gender. What can I say? I notice if a person is male or female.219C9E8B-FD3A-40AB-AF9E-8EBFDD100E49

What three habits do you feel would improve someone’s life?

A good night’s sleep, a healthy diet, and plenty of sex.

What takes up too much of your time? Would you stop that if you could?

Blogging. Duh! And, yes, I could stop if I wanted to, but I don’t want to.

Cookies (biscuits to those elsewhere), pastries, pie, or cake? If not, what does your sweet tooth crave?

Ice cream. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!BE6CBE8E-C341-4EF1-A311-6B4D7B963D15

Are You Happy? If so, why? If not, why not?

Happy? That is so subjective. Let’s just say that I’m content.

WTF WordPress?

8A371390-1E1E-46F7-8DB1-A7E9272C573DHere we go again. Back last October, I wrote this post in which I complained about a four hour time gap in the posts that showed up in my Reader overnight on my iOS app on my iPhone. When I contacted WordPress about the problem, its Happiness Engineers informed me that they were aware of the problem and were working to fix it. And, after a while, they did seem to fix it.

But the fix was short-lived. A month and a half ago, I wrote this post complaining, once again, about how, when I go to my Reader on my iPhone, that huge gap, now typically five hours, has returned.

Once again, the gap issue seemed to have been addressed. When I went to my Reader I’d see a message that said “Loading More Posts,” and then, lo and behold, the missing gap posts would be there.

But now, as of yesterday, it’s back yet again, as can be seen from the screenshot above. Only now the gap has grown to six hours!

I don’t know if each time WordPress makes an update to its iOS app, the problem magically resurfaces, but, as I said to WordPress the last time I complained about this, you need to “get your shit together, dammit.”