What you’re saying—the link of the sentence

The only link between you and the reader is the sentence you’re making.
There’s no sign of your intention apart from the sentences themselves,
And every sentence has its own motives, its own commitments,
Quite apart from yours.
It adheres to a set of rules—grammar, syntax, the history and customs of the language, a world of echoes and allusions and social cues—that pay no heed to your intentions,
If you don’t heed those rules.

It’s hard to pay attention to what your words are actually saying.
As opposed to what you mean to say or what you think they’re saying.
Knowing what you’re trying to say is always important.
But knowing what you’ve actually said is crucial.

Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing, 4

About Evan May

Evan May is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor at Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans.
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