Sentence Structure

Browse Archives

By Date

“Iowa is a fairy tale.”

By One Great Moment February 14, 2020

Editor’s note: The sentence in our headline is not the One Great Sentence flagged by Storyboard contributor Jill U. Adams. It’s the opening sentence of a profile of Iowa that sets up the sentence Adams really wrote about.   “Somewhere … Read more

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

By One Great Moment March 1, 2018

Why is it so great? The writing in this famous passage is so good that George Orwell wrote a parody of it designed to ridicule the bloated writing of his day: “Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success … Read more

“There is a time to write and a time to walk and a time to reflect and a time to act and I come unwillingly to this journal today, wanting to do something less reflective and feeling that I sometimes strip myself of my most reasonable attributes, bent over this machine.”

By One Great Moment January 10, 2018

In August 1991, I read John Cheever’s journal excerpts published in The New Yorker. I was a 19-year-old college dropout, a waitress, and in the half hour before starting my shift, I sat outside my local library, electrified by this candid, … Read more

“We were taken to the ‘Oh, My God, Corner,’ a position near the escalator. People arriving see the long line and say “Oh, my God!” and it’s an elf’s job to calm them down and explain that it will take no longer than an hour to see Santa.”

By One Great Moment December 20, 2017

It’s hard to cull just one sentence from Sedaris’ embedded reporting on being a helper at Santaland, a place he describes as “a real wonderland” with a path taking visitors through the “ten thousand sparkling lights, false snow, train sets, … Read more

“Before the aurora borealis appears, the sensitive needles of compasses all over the world are restless for hours, agitating on their pins in airplanes and ships, trembling in desk drawers, in attics, in boxes on shelves.”

By One Great Moment November 15, 2017

Why is it great? I admire the way Dillard turns a piece of natural science into a narrative of anticipation during which no human being makes an entrance.  The aurora borealis, better known as the northern lights, is a spectacular … Read more