This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Thursday, 27 January 2011


KING JAMES AND ME: A RANT

This year is the four hundredth anniversary of the King James version of the bible. Thousands, probably millions, of words have been written about the KJB, but the overwhelming opinion is that it's pretty nifty stuff.

And far be it from me to disagree.

But, you see, that last sentence (and this one) would be banned from pretty much any book written for use in schools.
And so would And they all lived happily ever after - in fact, I've tried to include that very sentence in a piece of educational fiction and it HAS been banned. Well, tweaked, anyway.

The rule of the educational consultants is that no sentence can ever start with AND or BUT.

Why? No idea at all.

So, back to the King James Bible, so widely praised for the excellence of its prose. Well, let's have a look at the first ten sentences of that great book. The first sentence starts, of course, In the beginning. And the next nine sentences? Yes, all of them begin with AND. And so, as it happens, so do the next fifteen, as well.

I rest my case.

Rule to break today: use a sentence beginning with AND!

By the way, that prune contranym from yesterday. Does STONED mean with the stone or without? Probably without, I'd say - but I would bite with caution, all the same.

5 comments:

  1. Stoned means: stone out! Or high on drugs....but I do like this post about the King James' Bible and also about starting sentences with AND....I do it all the time.

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  2. Actually, Adele, I think you're right. I think the way STONED is a contranym is that a stoned prune has had the stone taken away, and a stoned cat...brrrr!
    Still, whoever would have thought prunes could be so interesting!

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  3. Agree with Adele that stoned means either a drugged prune or a de-stoned one. But it's like: orange juice = juice OF oranges, but baby juice = juice FOR babies (usually. I think.)

    And I start sentences with and all the time and none of my editors has ever changed it - maybe because they are not specifically school books.

    As prunes don't do a lot anyway, how would you spot a stoned (druggy) prune?

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  4. Totally agree! Sharing your post with family and friends on Facebook. And may they smile as I did!

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  5. Welcome, Claude! I'm delighted to have raised a smile - and to have a commenter from Canada, as well.

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