Conjuction Junction What’s Your Function?

I teach students all the time that conjunctions are to be used in the middle of sentences only.

“You can not start at sentence with a conjunction. A conjunction is used to join words or phrases together. If a conjunction is at the start of a sentence it isn’t doing its job.”

I’ve actually said this or something similar more times than I can count during my teaching career. I’ve even shared the School House Rock DVD with my classes.

School House Rock is a brillant cartoon series of shorts that teach. Each short is set to music and has great visuals that help chidlren learn about grammar, science, mathematics, social studies, and more. I’m sure a lot of you recognized the reference in the title of this post. If not, go look it up. It’s well worth buying if you are a parent or an educator.

But here’s the point of this post. I don’t practise what I preach. And I always use conjuctions at the start of sentences when I write. Maybe this is something I need to correct. Maybe not.

I like using conjunctions because it seems to let my writing flow. It makes it a little more conversational in tone. And it’s okay to break the rules in writing if it helps to get the point across or evoke feeling in the reader.

So what do you think? Should I work harder in my writing and use conjunctions the way they were intended to be used? Or should I just blaze on and use them haphazardly if I find that it works?

Who knew that after all these years I’d still be asking, “Conjunction junction, what’s your function?”

6 Comments on Conjuction Junction What’s Your Function?

  1. I think you should keep on doing what you’re doing. As elementary students, kids need to learn the basic foundation of grammar first. As writers, breaking rules of grammar is sometimes necessary to get the flow of words right. I remember, when I was younger, learning about grammar in school and writing correctly at school, but at home writing personally I had free reign to do whatever the heck I wanted. And I suppose as I was learning those things I had a bit of an ego going on, saying to myself, “I’m a writer. I’m better than this.”

    I guess I’m saying being educated about grammar is first and foremost, but following the rules all the time is boring.

  2. Hi Alexis,

    Thanks for the great comment. I do model proper written and spoken English in my classroom.

    I break a few rules in my writing but generally I follow the accepted and common sense rules of our time.

    And I like using conjunctions like this. It’s easy to read and understand and it flows. That’s what counts.

  3. Hi Chase,

    Teaching proper English is one thing, but I have noticed in blogging, proper English often goes out the window. Since it’s almost “expected and accepted”, I say when you write, do what pleases you.

  4. Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for your take on it. So far, it’s two votes to keep doing what I’m doing.

  5. Alexis, as always, is wise. A writer must learn and know the rules before he or She can presume to break them in the service of the Muses.

  6. Hi ECD,

    We are in total agreement here. I know that I always value both your opinion and hers. Thanks!

Comments are closed.