Our heat has abated. I may even consider trying that damned game again. Golf, that is. And if all goes if not well but at least somewhat okay, I may even consider playing the damned game more than once a week. If all goes really bad, I may consider giving it up forever. Or at least until my Dick Francis books run out.
I’m now into my 15th, In the Frame, about a painter of horses who gets involved in a plot involving a group who burgle fancy houses for their antiques and artwork. Same main character, just different name and occupation. And same stoicism and impunity to pain. It’s a formula plot, I know, but one can learn a lot from all the research Francis had to do about the various occupations. And they all come out for the best. And they’re all so damn much fun to read.
I still haven’t heard from any reader who might send me a complex sentence to examine. So I’ll find one of my own and show you how it could be pulled apart.
This from Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream. “The chauffeur, whom Thomas Hudson disliked very much for his general misinformation and stupidity, his conceit, his lack of understanding of motors, and his atrocious care of the cars and general laziness, was being very short and formal because of the reprimand about coasting.” Normally, Hemingway’s style is considered short and simple. But this sentence is 45 words long, still not very complicated, though, using quite a bit of parallel structure for its length.
The main clause is an S-V-S-S (the last two S's being predicate adjectives describing the subject, the chauffeur); the subject (chauffeur) is modified by an adjective clause (whom Thomas Hudson disliked very much); the first prepositional phrase with the six objects explains why Hudson disliked him; the fourth object (lack) is modified by a prepositional phrase with a gerund phrase (of understanding of motors) as its object; the fifth object (care) is modified by a prepositional phrase (of the cars); and the main verb (was being) has a prepositional phrase telling why he was being very short and formal; the object of that prepositional phrase (reprimand) has a prepositional phrase modifying it, using a gerund (coasting) as its object.
There, now isn't it easier to look at the pattern than to hear a purely grammatical explanation?