Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Dysfunctional Literacy

Pride and Prejudice 2

It’s difficult to make the case that Jane Austen wrote bad sentences in her novels, especially in Pride and Prejudice.  Jane Austen was known for many qualities: her wit, her sarcasm, movie adaptations that put guys like me to sleep (but that’s not her fault).  One thing that Jane Austen is NOT known for is writing bad sentences.

Since writing is so subjective, it’s tough to define what makes a bad sentence.  The lazy approach would be to treat a bad sentence like pornography; you can’t define it, but you know it when you see it.  Unlike a certain former United States Supreme Court judge whose name I can’t remember, I can define pornography (if certain body parts are involved and mix in with other body parts, it’s pornography).

The same applies to bad writing (having the standard, not the body parts).  Once you have a set standard, it’s…

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