Grammar Horror Stories (Teaching-Wise)
I have my NotWords and MorphedWords categories, and now I’m toying with a Grammar Horror Stories category.
I bring this up because I can’t remember how many college students I’ve taught over the years who live in mortal fear of K-12 English admonitions from well-meaning (I hope) but un-grammar-educated (for sure) teachers.
One such horror teaching is, “Never start a sentence with because.” Why not? Another is, “Never start a sentence with and or but.” Now on this latter example, certainly it can be overused, but starting a sentence with and or but can be a highly effective means of emphasis or abrupt transition.
Beginning a sentence with because is certainly fine because it just signifies that you’re starting, rather than ending, with a dependent clause. Perfectly grammatical.
I rest my case but will return to Grammar Horror Stories from time to time.