1. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales

    Style The Word is...The

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SuperVenom, Feb 8, 2014.

    I was in the forum the other day when a poster thaked another poster for not starting with the word 'the' as it was a pet peeve of theirs. Now all I can think of is starting with the dang word. I apologise to the poster, this post is not a dig. I was just wondering how many of ppl here have started with the word THE?
     
  2. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    The first word in all of my stories is "the." I love "the." It's such a definite article. The first word in all my sentences should be the. The I think that's the way I'm going to write from now on. The nobody can stop me - it's my style. The have you any objections? The do you think it's calling too much attention to itself? The I bet it's a pet peeve of yours, too, by now, right? The maybe I should stop.

    Everything I just wrote above is, of course, bull. ;)

    My advice is to pay no attention to the poster who hates starting with "the." If they refuse to read your story because the first word irks them, they have problems you can't help them with. Go ahead and start with any word you like.

    Except "mayonnaise." Don't start with that word; it'll drive me nuts. :D

    EDIT: It is clearly way past my bedtime ...
     
  3. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    Dang i was gonna write about my mayonnaise sandwich.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Your friend needs a good mental laxative.
     
  5. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,804
    Likes Received:
    7,322
    Location:
    Scotland
    @minstrel! You always make me laugh. In a good way.

    @SuperVenom - I wonder how your friend feels about Once upon a time...
     
  6. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    Haha yeah. Nothing against the guy, I dont know him I just saw his comment on a post anx I was like hmmmmmm is that something cliché
     
  7. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    Haha yeah. Nothing against the guy, I dont know him I just saw his comment on a post anx I was like hmmmmmm is that something cliché
     
  8. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,893
    Likes Received:
    10,081
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    That guy was ME! *looks askance at the replies* @Cogito, @minstrel, @jannert . [​IMG]:rolleyes::p

    To be fair - and you yourself mentioned this, @SuperVenom, so this is not directed at you - I was exceedingly clear that it is a personal pet peeve and under no circumstances to be taken as any sort of rule or even advice. It peeves me because there is a tendency for it to herald a static description as the first sentence.
     
  9. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    I knew it was a trouble maker lol. No disrepect dude it just got me wondering. Amd after all that is what y his forum is for :D
     
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i was going to ask 'start what'?

    but wrey's response in defense of his post seems to make it clear that it was only in reference to 'the first sentence'...and i would have to agree with him that opening a story/novel with a 'the'-starting sentence is not among the best ways to begin...
     
  11. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    You can start with any word you want, from "the" to "riverrun" and everything in between.
     
  12. Robert_S
    Offline

    Robert_S Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    163
    In a way, I understand. The and There as starting words are pet peeves of many editors and agents.

    If you listen to the sound of the word "the" it's an uh sound and quite dull.
     
  13. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    So your objection isn't to the word "the", it is to the static sentence it often opens.

    "The slowing drip of blood ticked away the last seconds of Walter Pendergast's life. Too short a time, but perhaps long enough."

    It's only an article, but at least it's definite. Unlike the verb, it doesn;t hve the power to make a sentence passive or active.

    Judging by the first sentence is harsh enough. Doing so by the first word, however? That's cold indeed! :)
     
  14. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    For some reason, this thread reminds me of this Monty Python sketch, which is on their album "Matching Tie and Handkerchief."

    Every writer should listen to this - it's pertinent and hilarious!
     
  15. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,893
    Likes Received:
    10,081
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    "Not available in my country". Sometimes Youtube is a douche. :(
     
  16. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Drat! I thought your country was kinda part of the USA, politically. Are they complaining about your time zone or something?
     
  17. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    @Wreybies (and anyone else for whom the youtube link is blocked):

    Here's another site (that isn't Youtube) that has the mp3 version. It's just audio off the record album; they never did this on TV, so you're not missing anything.
     
  18. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I rarely click on links, particularly Youtube links. I expect people to discuss what they are sharing and why it is relevant on a writing site, using external links as supplementary material only.

    I realize that is an old-fashioned idea, but if someone wants me to follow offsite links, they need to give me a better reason than "Look at this! Trust me, it's worth your time."
     
  19. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Sorry. I just take it for granted that if it's Monty Python, it's worth people's time. :D

    This is a sketch they did only on a record album. Most people aren't familiar with it because they never did a TV version. It's basically dealing with novel-writing as a spectator sport. There's a play-by-play announcer and a color commentator at a stadium in which thousands of people have gathered to watch Thomas Hardy write The Return of the Native. It's silly but funny, and I thought writers would enjoy it.
     

Share This Page