Sunday, August 19, 2012


When composing a sentence, there are few things more important to me than the melody or rhythm of the words. Just recently I spent days, no weeks, rewriting a line because I wasn't happy with the way it sounded. Its grammar was correct, the thought it contained was expressed with meticulous precision, and not a single word appeared to be unnecessary.  And yet, I didn't like it.  When I read it out loud—and reading it out loud is a must—I found it sounding bumpy and inelegant.  So I kept working on it until I was satisfied.
I can get obsessed with this sort of thing, you know?  Indeed, I must admit that I am tempted, on occasion, to improve the sound and flow of a sentence even at the expense of its clarity, as long, of course, as the intended meaning is still coming through clearly enough.  Am I too extreme?