Starting Sentences with “Which” · 6 November 2021

Sometimes I break the rules of writing by accident, but usually it is on purpose.

I used to like to break the rules of writing when I was younger. Just to do it. Just because I figured I could get away with it. Just because they told me not to. It was all great fun. My favorite rule to break was starting sentences with because. I am not even sure why that was my favorite rule to break. Perhaps it was just to be contrary. I do not know. However, I do know that I stopped doing it because it made my writing sound weak. Because it made my writing passive.

Which brings me to the word which.

I am not sure if there is a specific rule about starting sentences with which, but there probably is. Which is not the reason I do it. Really. I try to write conversationally. Not always, but enough so that I would say it is part of my style. Write like you speak. At least that is my aim. That is, if I could actually speak.

I can actually speak. But words do not just come to me when I speak. I do not have the gift of gab. I stumble over words. I say the wrong things. I cannot get out a coherent sentence. Part of that is probably because there are no backspace or delete keys when I speak. Speech is not something I can edit in real time. It comes out and is there for all to hear. Raw. Uncut. Unedited.

Which is not the way I like my words. I like my words, well done. Or at least medium rare. Which just means that I like to edit my words at least one time. Really. I do edit my stuff at least once to make sure I did not make too many mistakes. That I did not offend too many readers. That I did not break too many rules of writing.

So why start sentences with which? I do not know. Rather, I do not know how it started. I suppose it was innocently at first. Probably the same time I started using one sentence paragraphs. Which often start with which.

“Which brings me back to…”
“Which just means…”
“Which just goes to show…”

Sentences that started out like that are just fun. Especially, when they are single sentence paragraphs. Actually, they are not even sentences. They are just sentence fragments. Which is another one of those rules I like to break. I like to use sentence fragments in the place of sentences. Especially, when I am just continuing a thought.

(It is a strange phenomenon that my grammar checker is not underlining in green all my which statements. Ah well. I suppose that could be another reason I like starting sentences with which. I like to have a little color when I am typing away. But that would not be true. I do not like the colored squiggly underlines. Even though I usually have them all over the place.)

Which brings me back to the beginning.

I am not just a writer who likes to break the rules of writing. In fact, I do not really enjoy breaking the rules. It just happens. And it happens because I have a certain writing style. A style that would mimic the way I spoke, if I could actually speak. Which means that I use sentence fragments that start with which. Which is definitely a no-no in the rules of writing. Which does not really matter much to me.

(By the way. I know that one of the pictures on this blog post is a witch. I do indeed know the difference between the words witch and which. I do not have a conundrum with which witch is which witch. There are just no pictures that I liked for the word which. And I did not want to make one.)

I am not sure that I really wrote much today, but I have a little more nothing to add. I actually do like the rules of writing. Not because I like to break them. Because they are actually useful. Most people (myself included) should follow the rules of writing most of the time. It is only when you become a wordsmith, when you become adept at writing, when you transform from being a person who writes into a writer that you may start breaking the rules of writing. Again, I do not break the rules of writing to be a rule breaker. I do not do it to be contrary or clever. I just break the rules of writing when breaking them fits the content, the context, or the style. Or just because I want to.

I am not sure that I said much in this piece. (Oops. I already said that.) Not that I say much in any piece of writing. But I do know that I like to start sentences with the word which.

Which brings me to the end.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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