Angus Wilson

I chose Wilson’s sentence because it is just fun.  This is another sentence that paints a whole scene, putting the reader right in the middle of the action.

“She looked mad, absolutely round the bend, standing in a filthy bare hall on ragged linoleum under the dismal light of one feeble, fly-brown, naked bulb, casually dispensing thousands of pounds.”  Angus Wilson, No Laughing Matter, 401

The sentence is another from Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences, page 34.  She explains that “linking-verb kernels, too, may be held intact, as in the opening clause of the following [above] right-branching sentence.”

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Right-branching sentences start with the main sentence, in this case: “She looked mad.”  The following information describing said sentence then follows: “absolutely round the bend, standing in a filthy bare hall on ragged linoleum under the dismal light of one feeble, fly-brown, naked bulb, casually dispensing thousands of pounds.”

If you are interested in learning more about linking verbs, the following link is pretty comprehensive. 

Linking verbs:

  • Show a relationship between the subject and the sentence complement, the part of the sentence following the verb
  • Connect or link the subject with more information – words that further identify or describe the subject
  • Identify a relationship or existing condition

This site provides a whole list of linking verbs.  https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/verbs/linking-verbs.html

Kernel Sentence: a sentence (such as “John is big” or “John has a book”) exemplifying in a language one of a very small group of the grammatically simplest sentence types or patterns (such as noun phrase + be + adjective phrase or noun phrase + verb + noun phrase) which in transformational grammar are the basic stock from which all sentences in that language are derived and in terms of which they can all ultimately be described (Webster’s Unabridged).

or

Kernel Sentence Patterns: noun-verb, noun-verb-noun, noun-verb-noun-noun, noun linking-verb noun, and noun linking-verb adjective (Dechant).

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Works cited:

Dechant, Emerald. Understanding and Teaching Reading: An Interactive Model. Routledge. 1991.

 “Kernel Sentence.” Merriam-Webster Unabridged. 2019.  https://www.merriam-webster.com/help/citing-the-dictionary

“Linking Verbs.” Your Dictionary. Love to Know, Corp. 2019.

Tufte, Virginia. Artful Sentences. Graphics Press, LLC.  2006

Wilson, Angus. No Laughing Matter.  Faber & Faber.  2012.

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