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  • Colleen Baxter Sullivan

I Play With Words. I Embrace Words.


For the last year, I have been working towards my Editing Certification. I must admit it has been very tedious and challenging work. Being a writer, I just assumed that I knew it all. Wow, did I ever have a rude awakening.

The written word can be an interpretation of many forms and styles. Canadian, American and the United Kingdom, all have their own way of writing....even their punctuation can be different. I have been on many online forums with editors from around the world. We have learned to embrace these different aspects of writing.

For example, one of the most thought to be incorrect English mistakes is a complete sentence: I have been corrected many times for this. But, sentences do not have to have a noun or a verb to be complete.

Mark Barton, Naïve (Australian) English speaker writes this: It depends on the definition of the sentence you apply. One traditional definition used for the purposes of formal writing held that a string of words was only a sentence if it contained a finite verb (plus anything that finite verb required, such as a subject or object). By that standard, the shortest sentence was "Go." (An imperative verb, not needing a subject). A complete sentence without a verb is a contradiction in terms and a complete sentence without a noun and verb is rare.

According to Wikipedia: "A sentence is a linguistic unit consisting of one or more words that are grammatically linked.", although how the lone word in a one-word sentence can be grammatically linked escapes me. So, "Absolutely Delicious" might be a sentence without a noun or a verb.

Of course, a sentence is a complete thought although it might make little sense taken in isolation out of context. So, "Oops” would be a complete sentence without a noun or a verb.

And yet again, a sentence can be defined purely in orthographic terms, as a group of words starting with a capital letter and ending in a full stop. So, "Overland quickly rapturous." is a sentence.

Thank you Mark for your interpretation of a complete sentence; I love how you captured and explained it.

What I am trying to say here is that going to school and learning proper punctuation and sentence formatting is correct in itself while applying this to an English grammar test. We must as readers and writers not be so quick to correct the work of others, until we are very well versed on the rules and artistic endeavors of the written work before us.

I have always written and with 4 published novels, have loved this journey to the fullest. Now I also am embracing the thought of becoming an Editor. I will still write my novels but having been a proof reader for the last year has educated me in all genres and types of writing. And I am really enjoying this.

I play with words, I embrace words, and now I will be totally consumed with my goals for the future.


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