Does anyone know about the origin of the rule concerning not beginning a sentence with these two words. Grammer usage books do not agree with the everyday belief.
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Does anyone know about the origin of the rule concerning not beginning a sentence with these two words. Grammer usage books do not agree with the everyday belief.

I always thought it was Mrs. Goodale, who told it to our 7th grade class in Detroit in 1955. Even at such a tender age, those of us in the class who actually read books knew that what she was saying was rank ***.
\\P. Schultz
Does anyone know about the origin of the rule concerning not beginning a sentence with these two words. Grammer usage books do not agree with the everyday belief.

1. This is a point of syntax, not grammar.
2. This rule (only for literary English, notspoken English) probably dates from whenever
these words were labeled conjunctions. This
Latin-derived word means links: so people
might have thought quite early there was
something wrong with a link attached to only one
item.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
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Does anyone know about the origin of the rule concerning ... Grammer usage books do not agree with the everyday belief.

1. This is a point of syntax, not grammar.

It's certainly not a point of grammer.
I am under the impression that syntax is a subset of grammar.

To me this is a point of usage, not syntax, not grammar (or grammer).
Well, anyway
2. This rule (only for literary English, not spoken English) probably dates from whenever these words were labeled conjunctions. This Latin-derived word means links: so people might have thought quite early there was something wrong with a link attached to only one item.

I've tried looking this up in some reference works but have found nothing. (By comparison, many books trace "Don't end a sentence with a preposition" to Dryden.) MWDEU suggests that it might have begun with a caution to youngsters against running several sentences together with "and"s in between ("And I gave it to Mary and she took it home and she showed it to her mother and her mother said she didn't want it and then ... "). And then it just got out of hand. A kind of hypercorrection, with no one person to blame.

Bob Lieblich
Mostly surmise
Does anyone know about the origin of the rule concerning not beginning a sentence with these two words. Grammer usage books do not agree with the everyday belief.

1. The origins seem now thoroughly lost in the mists of time.
2. It is quite doubtful that "everyday belief" has ever heldagainst the practice. The half-learned(1) have on occasion objected to it, as to "split infinitives" and prepositions that end sentences, but few or no competent writers or sound usage authorities have ever inveighed against any of those sound and frequent practices. That is to say: there is no such "rule".

And its "grammar".
(1) never start vast projects with half-vast ideas.

Cordially,
Eric Walker
My opinions on English are available at
http://owlcroft.com/english /
I've tried looking this up in some reference works but have found nothing. (By comparison, many books trace "Don't end ... ... "). And then it just got out of hand. A kind of hypercorrection, with no one person to blame.

Fowler ( MEU II, ed. Gowers) says, under and:
"5. And beginning a sentence. That it is a solecism to begin a sentence with and is a faintly lingering superstition. The OED gives examples ranging from the 10th to the 19th c.; the Bible is full of them."
The entry for but also refers to the above.

Odysseus
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Does anyone know about the origin of the rule concerning ... Grammer usage books do not agree with the everyday belief.

And its "grammar".

Oy!
Adrian
2. It is quite doubtful that "everyday belief" has ever held against the practice. The half-learned(1) have on occasion objected ... (1) never start vast projects with half-vast ideas. Cordially, Eric Walker My opinions on English are available at http://owlcroft.com/english /

I believe it is simply a matter of style, at least when it comes to the written word. Poets have always been granted exemptions from such niceties, but a good poet will not allow the coordinating conjunction to do most of the heavy labor. Since conjunctions join ideas together, that is what the writer needs to be mindful of. Example:
Conjunction Function Example and joins two similar ideas together He lives in Victoria, and he studies at UVic.
but joins two contrasting ideas John is Canadian, but Sally is English.
Joanne
And its "grammar".

Oy!

I never know, in retrospect, if it was the brain or the fingers that slept.(1) God bless spell checkers: few others would.
(1) Originally written as "I never know, in retrospect, if it was the brain or the fingers that were asleep", till that old number-agreement devil raised its head.

Cordially,
Eric Walker
My opinions on English are available at
http://owlcroft.com/english /
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