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Chapter 21. Stylish Sentences > Flexible Flyers - Pg. 217

Stylish Sentences Model #2 217 We have airplanes because _____________ built their biplane and took off from __________. We understand physics because Albert Einstein dared to think ahead of the curve. We made it into space because of the _____________ at ___________ who learned about space travel. Ford thought outside the box and created the __________; Banting and Best found out how to treat diabetes with insulin. These brave people--and so many more like them--found out how to solve problems that enabled them to do a job that needed doing. Possible response: We have airplanes because Orville and Wilbur Wright built their biplane and took off from Kitty Hawk. We understand physics because Albert Einstein dared to think ahead of the curve. We made it into space because of the scientists and astronauts at NASA who learned about space travel. Ford thought outside the box and created the Model T; Banting and Best found out how to treat diabetes with insulin. These brave people--and so many more like them--found out how to solve problems that enabled them to do a job that needed doing. Danger, Will Robinson Don't add detail merely to pad your writing, because that results in bloated, awkward sentences. And make sure that every word has meaning in the context of the passage. As George Orwell said in his famous essay "Politics and the English Language": "A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What images or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is unavoidably ugly?" Use Vivid Verbs Use verbs rather than nouns to communicate your ideas. This makes your writing more forceful and less wordy. For example, replace forms of to be with action verbs, as the following example shows: · Weak :In 1850, 21-year-old Levi Strauss went from New York to San Francisco. Vivid:In 1850, 21-year-old Levi Strauss traveled from New York to San Francisco. · Weak :The shrieking Arctic gales sent needles of ice into their faces. Vivid:The shrieking Arctic gales shot needles of ice into their faces. Danger, Will Robinson Place the adjectives, adverbs, phrases, and clauses according to the emphasis you want to achieve in each sentence. Remember that misplaced modifiers spell trouble, so be sure to place them as close as possible to the words they describe. Invert Word Order Most English sentences follow the subject-verb-direct object pattern, so varying this pattern auto- matically creates emphasis and interest. To create stylistic variety, occasionally place the verb be- fore the subject, as these examples show: