I want to bend English a bit and put weird elements into position one, mirroring the more idiomatic constructions there are. Here's the "standard"sentence

The rule is clear, but it makes no sense and people do not care.

And here's what I'd like to do with it

The rule is clear, but sense it makes not and care people do not.

Once again... I know that this is not proper English but I feel that it is still in the grey zone and I have little doubt that people would understand me if I was say that. But I want to write it.

  • How would I punctuate this?
  • Should I use commas or hyphens or nothing? What's the easiest for a reader to comprehend and parse?
  • "Clear, the rule is, but sense it does not make. Care, the people do not." - Yodafied. Anyway, your example feels a bit weird, but the punctation as is seems fine I think. I'd instead focus more on tweaking the wording. What are you trying to go for here?
    – Doc
    Jan 10 '14 at 18:57
  • @Doc... I have written a somewhat long paragraph about a German spelling rule that nobody cares about and I want to get back to the actual topic. The sentence is supposed to summarize the paragraph while at the same time creating a cesura that contrasts the preceding brute force explanatory phrasings and remind people that the text is not all that serious. I felt that weird structure could fit the bill, especially considering that the overall topic is German which has some renown for twisting things. Ideas are welcome :)
    – Emanuel
    Jan 10 '14 at 19:10

Generally speaking, I see nothing much wrong with it. I would encourage you to work on it. If no-one had ever changed their style of writing we would still be using the language of Chaucer. Just because it is not in current vogue... Well, nor was the music of Beethoven!

Grammatically I believe it makes sense to the end of the first 'not'. 'Sense it makes not' is a perfectly valid sentence. After that I would put a comma, or a semi-colon, or as I am recommending below a full stop.

I don't think you could get away with the ending exactly as you have it now. At the very least you would need a comma after 'care'.

If it were me, I think I would, for my final flourish, put a full stop after 'not' and make a further short sentence: 'And (as for) care, people simply do not!'


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