Clausal Lines — A New Paradigm Way Of Writing

Clausal Lines — A New Paradigm Way Of Writing

a few years ago i remember beginning to write
in a style that a friend had already adopted
after giving his own careful attention to the words and writings
of buckminster fuller and marshall mcluhan—
and it gave a fresh line to each turn of thought
or to each different but contiguous clausal phrase
—much as one does when writing poetry

i realized that the reader would more easily draw out the meaning
—as if the time taken to move down to the next line
gave a few more nanoseconds of heart-brain-attention
and thus a micro-pause to better take in the line just ended—
and of course in cyber-reality we have the space to do this

looking back at the origins of our writing form
from the Roman stone inscriptions, and the Latinate writing
on slate or parchment through the centuries
there were commonly no spaces between words
nor indeed even dots between sentences

today we might see that as an arbitrary way of writing
and inasmuch as the Romans did many similar things
—arbitrary things that served their societal structures
maintained by top-down dominance—
we would today recognize it as an enforced ‘subliminal dissonance’
that the authoritarian written word was thus apt to create
—the dissonance appearing in the gap between the written-out ‘corporate prerogatives’
and the more ‘folksy stuff’ that we think of as everyday human life—
a gap that has taken many forms
and continues to intrude all around us in the modern world

it’s been with us since Sumerian times
from one generation to the next
wherever we’ve seen the ’empire story’
attempting to impose itself on human culture through the written word

so wherever whole classes of people
were bound by certain economic or political structures
—through blood lines or under patronage—
they found themselves beholden to the threads of power that held the empire together

all this went on unquestioned for several thousand years
so i’m suggesting here that the edge-to-edge ‘Roman rectangle’
has outworn its welcome in a more enlightened society
and is nothing more than a graphical leftover from that time
when overbearing prerogatives prevailed on the rest of human culture
—and it is now our time to break those subliminal fetters

to offer a curiously salient perspective here—
children feel right away that Egyptian hieroglyphs
are a more ‘friendly’ rendition of writing
…and much, much more fun!

so I hope the reader will agree
that these ‘clausal lines’ and their barely necessary punctuation
not only give each turn of thought it’s own place
they actually make reading easier

you will notice they especially help in holding the attention
—in the longer convoluted and possibly more interesting sentences—
all the way to their conclusion

in fact this ‘loosening of the rectangle’ if you will
is a friendly consideration from the writer and a gift to the reader

it becomes an exercise in directness and lucidity
and is much closer to our spoken style
so it can very soon enhance the quality of one’s written missives
whatever the writer’s choice of phraseology might be

offering others a more poetic rendering of our thoughts
surely creates that commonly sought humanist rapport
—in contrast to what has become a thoughtless adaptation
of a former paradigm that we now see falls short
of fully serving the heart of our affairs

minimal use of commas and dashes is sometimes an aid to clarity
though capitals are unneeded when each line provides a clear contextual meaning—
a little discipline and timely review may be helpful in that way
i have noticed only one needed pointer in syntax—
after beginning a new sentence and whenever possible
start each clausal line with a transitional phrase or a conjunction

that’s it – so try it yourself!


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