lundi 12 février 2007


I used to receive comments on my papers from professors about my frequent use of complex or wordy sentences. Although I've worked to combat this problem, I can still see cases where it pops up quite a bit (at least I've learned to identify them!). I didn't understand just how frustrating reading long sentences could be until I went through the classic work of Christ and Culture. I've really enjoyed this book, save for a couple of long-winded sentences that required re-reading just to make sure I got the gist of it. Here's one example - and it really is one sentence:

[Calvin's] more dynamic conception of the vocations of men as activities in which they may express their faith and love and may glorify God in their calling, his closer association of church and state, and his insistence that the state is God's minister not only in a negative fashion as restrainer of evil but positively in the promotion of welfare, his more humanistic views of the splendour of human nature still evident in the ruins of the fall, his concern for the doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh, above all his emphasis on the actuality of God's sovereignty - all these lead to the thought that what the gospel promises and makes possible, as divine (not human) possibility, is the transformation of mankind in all its nature and culture into a kingdom of God in which the laws of the kingdom have been written upon the inward parts. (Niebuhr, 217-218)
It's understandable that the first part is a list, which makes it long, but this type of phrasing is not atypical for the rest of the book. Phew, it's like Paul in the epistles and his famous run-on sentences! Now that I've gone through the difficulty of trying to comprehend such long sentences-turned-paragraphs, I have more sympathy for my profs who've had to endure needless bantering on my part :)

Libellés :