Friday Follies #127 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Hi FF’ers! As promised, here’s a special challenge for you today. Three ultra-long sentences – or as the Grammar Cop likes to call them, word-swamps – to be split into more digestible pieces.

  1. “When you read Unsinkable, and see how she managed to bring herself up and rise to the occasion to conquer this depression, you will realize that it was just as a heroic battle as her 27-day uphill battle to recover from that leg injury that could have ended her rowing career, and end up racing valiantly towards a bronze medal in Barcelona.”
  2. “However, within a decade of her awesome triumph, Laumann slowly underwent a psychological meltdown that bottomed out when John suddenly and surprisingly announced to her that he wanted to end their marriage, and then during a speaking engagement in Phoenix in 2006, she locked her two kids, William and Kate, in a hotel room because, reasoned Laumann, ‘to prevent myself from screaming abuse at them, or worse, hitting them.'”
  3. “It’s also a strong statement of how to cope with challenges that are unexpectedly thrown at you, which is exemplified with how she managed to cope with the fact that her daughter Kate was diagnosed with ADD, and how she admirably deals with the severe autism of her stepdaughter Kilee.”

 

WHEW! Pause to take a breath! No, take several! Now here are some rewrite suggestions for these period-challenged “sentences.”

  1. When you read Unsinkable, you’ll see how she managed to rise to the occasion and conquer her depression. This was just as heroic a battle as her 27-day fight to recover from her leg injury, which could have ended her rowing career. Having overcome both psychological and physical obstacles, Laumann valiantly raced towards a bronze medal in Barcelona. (Note: one sentence becomes three. Eliminated “bring herself up” because it’s covered by “rise to the occasion.”)
  2. However, within a decade of her awesome triumph, Laumann slowly underwent a psychological breakdown that hit bottom when John suddenly told her he wanted to end their marriage. While in Phoenix for a speaking engagement, she locked her two kids, William and Kate, in a hotel room to prevent herself “from screaming abuse at them, or worse, hitting them.” (Note: deleted “and surprisingly” since it’s already implied by “suddenly.” Deleted “reasoned Laumann” since unnecessary. Also: “breakdown” is more formal than “meltdown.”)
  3. It shows how she admirably coped with unexpected challenges, such as her daughter’s ADD diagnosis and her stepdaughter’s severe autism. (Note: deleted fluff.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed and appreciated the Grammar Cop’s efforts to drain the sentence-swamps. Good luck on your own travels through your personal Everglades!

11 thoughts on “Friday Follies #127 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

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