Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Syntax

The ordering of words into meaningful verbal patterns such as phrases, clauses, and sentences. Poets often manipulate syntax, changing conventional word order, to place certain emphasis on particular words. Emily Dickinson, for instance, writes about being surprised by a snake in her poem “A narrow Fellow in the Grass,” and includes this line: “His notice sudden is.” In addition to the alliterative hissing s-sounds here, Dickinson also effectively manipulates the line’s syntax so that the verb is appears unexpectedly at the end, making the snake’s hissing presence all the more “sudden.”

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Published in: on December 29, 2010 at 11:32 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Ah syntax. Writers love it.


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