Yet another inanimate-object-as-agent example, and I promise I will try to move on to something else (at least for the time being).
“Organization is key to achievement and it pertains to almost everything trying to be accomplished.”
Presumably, the notion that organization is key to achievement is what pertains to almost everything.
So we will turn our attention to the participle “trying.” What does it modify? “Everything”—or rather, “everything trying to be accomplished.” Where, oh where in this sentence is there any suggestion that accomplishment takes some kind of worker, some person exerting effort, some individual or group with an idea or dream? The things themselves, the ideas and dreams, are responsible for getting themselves accomplished here. And if those things want to have a chance of succeeding in their efforts, they must have organization, the key to achievement. Lacking hands, how will they ply this key? That’s anybody’s guess.
Is it that students really, really want to move ever forward in their sentences, never going back to try alternatives for the sake of clarity, accuracy, or style? Or, in the case of this particular sentence, do we have an example of a student who should have stopped earlier but felt the need for a grander ending? Put a period after “everything” and you have a perfectly viable sentence. WHY GO ON? I don’t know, but I do know this isn’t the only student who has erred in this way.
Whatever her reason, she left me with a vision of a roomful of things, looking for the organization key, strenuously aspiring to achieve…something, somehow.
July 25th, 2013 at 7:10 pm
But then they decide that they’d rather have a slice of pizza, a beer,
and a nap. Lots of sluggards like that in my office, on the floor, on my shelves, etc. Why don’t they get organized?
July 26th, 2013 at 10:23 am
Hard to get organized when the fragrance of pizza is wafting down the hall (and through the keyhole!)…
July 25th, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Perhaps it was a first draft turned in accidentally…
July 26th, 2013 at 12:20 am
What an optimist you are, Susan P! Turning in first drafts is all too frequently an intentional act.
July 26th, 2013 at 9:17 am
Yes, I know. Always assuming that they work at it in the first place.
July 29th, 2013 at 9:02 pm
These students are like wizards who make the inanimate world alive.
July 29th, 2013 at 10:18 pm
Now, that puts a nice positive light on them, and I heartily thank you!
August 4th, 2013 at 8:16 pm
Another reason not to have too many things…those must get organized and be allowed to achieve (or you must face being called a bad thingy owner)
Please, just spit it out simply and briefly – big words and long sentences are not always a winner..aaarrrrggghhh. (sorry bad memories surfacing…)
You have such patience
September 1st, 2013 at 9:32 am
[…] think this is going to be another one of those sentences that begin all right, go on all right, and then go on a little too far and become ridiculous. And I […]