by cheri block
Consider this sentence only.
Let me give you some context before you do.
Before I give you the context, how much time do you have?
If you are stopping by for six seconds in hopes of being mildly entertained, six seconds is not enough time.
Do you remember looking or listening or tasting or smelling or touching something today? I mean the details of it all?
Marveling at the experience of perhaps eating a tuna sandwich or smelling the smoke from chicken teriyaki barbecuing next door? Or how about the feel of the hoodie going up against your cold ears and shielding them from a brisk wind?
O.K. You’re in a hurry. I see. I’ll give you the sentence.
No, wait. Let me make a few more comments for you to digest. Sorry.
Savoring the humor, the irony, and the wit behind this sentence has given me great pleasure today.
Because of this pleasure, I have made no progress on my essay due next Wednesday for my graduate class.
All right. Here’s Jane Austen’s killer sentence.
No, you need the context. I forgot.
Charlotte Palmer is married to a stoic, Mr. Palmer. He treats her poorly, but then again, she is a silly woman. About Mr. Palmer Charlotte says to Elinor,
Mr. Palmer does not hear me [laughing] …he never does sometimes. It is so ridiculous.
“He never does sometimes.”
Do you believe this marvelous sentence?
What are we to make of this statement?
He never [not ever;] does sometimes [on some occasions; at times; now
This sentence, like so many others in Sense and Sensibility, may have been passed over by the hurried reader.
The details of life, like the short sentence above, are to be savored, mulled over, enjoyed like a deep and rich glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.