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Friday, November 13, 2015

Length of a sentence in language

How long or short a sentence can be in language ?

1. Brief enough to evince interest or long enough to explain completely?

2. Thoughts, ideas, emotions, reactions etc when attempted to be expressed or communicated through any medium the techniques, limitation, pleasantness and so on  of the medium may either modify or mutilate or mellow down or magnify or manipulate them.

3. However to ensure that this impact of the medium is minimized there are certain rules, regulations, grammar  in suing every medium.

4. In short emphasize is on the recipient of the communication as basically it is meant for him/her.

5. In language two days ago I wrote about the need for elaborate explanations here . At the same time the impact of brevity and one- liners are immense and interesting.

6. So there was a debate about what determines and how to determine the length of a sentence?

7. I have always felt that the length of the sentence must be determined by what it wants to express or communicate- thought, idea, emotion, event etc.

8. However, it would be better that it is brief enough to evoke interest and long enough to express with clarity, if not completely what it intends to communicate, semantically unambiguous and if necessary with certain amount of indulgence in frills of extra words and expressions.

9. I thought of doing some reference on longest sentences and came across lots of very interesting stuff available, thanks to the internet which dispelled my ignorance which thought that James Joyce's 'Ulysses' which contains 4,391 words was the longest.

10. Here are the links to those unbelievable and extraordinary stuff .

13. This is interesting claim of longest sentence in English.

Nineteenth Century in one sentence. That’s right, ONE sentence. Apparently, it is the longest legitimate sentence ever written in a book. It was written by Cushing Biggs Hassell’s in his thousand-page History of the Church of God, published in 1886. hat tip to rickl

16.  And this wins over all the rest

Traditionally, the longest sentence in English literature has been found in James Joyce's 'Ulysses' which contains 4,391 words. However this was surpassed in 2001 by Jonathan Coe's book 'The Rotter's Club' which contains a sentence 13,955 words long. There is also a Polish novel 'Gates of Paradise' written by Jerzy Andrzejewski, and published in 1960, with about 40,000 word sentence.
Finally, there is a Czech novel that consists of one long sentence (128 pages long) 'Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age' by Bohumil Hrabal.

18. László Krasznahorkai, Hungarian novelist is also a contender for long sentences though I have read only some his works in English.

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