An Unacceptably Long Sentence

Consider the following overloaded sentence from a newspaper. Professional  journalists, no matter how hurried, really should do better than this: it would have taken only a minute or two more to unravel the various ideas within the story and assign them to separate sentences or at least independent clauses.
?? Ernest Saunders, the former Guinness chairman and chief executive, has been given leave to apply for a High Court judicial review of his being refused legal aid to appeal to the House of Lords against the Court of Appeal’s refusal to stay the action brought against him by Guinness pending the outcome of his criminal trial.
-The Independent
And here are a few nursery rhymes, ‘stylishly’ rewritten as a single sentence in each case. The original versions, with their several short sentences or easily distinguishable and absorbable clauses.
Little Bo-peep, having lost her sheep and not knowing where to find them, on being advised to leave them alone and assured that they would come home dragging their tails behind them, fell in to a deep sleep, during which she dreamt she heard them bleating and from which she awoke only to find it a joke, for they were still a-fleeting, upon which she took up her little crook and, determined to find them, found them indeed, though it made her heart bleed, for they’d left their tails behind them.
There was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile, in the course of which he found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile, later buying a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse, enabling them all to live together in a crooked little house.
Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander
But upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber
Where I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers
And whom I took by the left leg

And threw down the stairs.

For Scientific english editing and Medical Writing Services visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *