While diction determines word choice, syntax determines where the words are placed. Language, without syntax, is nonsense – words strung together with no method to the madness. We all use syntax to speak and write without thinking about it, repeating what we have heard before. Unique syntax requires mixing up that order, without creating nonsense. Do you recall Yoda’s distinctive style of speaking in the Star Wars movie series? Simply take the predicate object or predicate adjective at the end of a sentence and move it to the front. Voila – Yoda speak. “But what is a predicate object and predicate adjective?” students ask mystified. Basically it is everything in a normal sentence that comes after the verb.
Which brings up the next point – Learning how to use syntax to create a unique voice requires a fundamental knowledge of grammar. I recall, in my junior high days, creating lengthy…
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