Published in Landslide® magazine, Volume 13, Number 3, a publication of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL), ©2020 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.
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January/February 2021 n LANDSLIDE 47
By C. Edward Good
John hit the ball, and he ran to rst base.
Here are the seven coordinating conjunctions.
The acronym BOYFANS will help you remember them:
But, Or, Yet, For, And, Nor, So
According to the myth, you may not start a sentence with any
of these seven words.
Who started this myth? I think elementary school teachers
promulgated the rule. They kept hearing their six-year-olds say:
Daddy took me to the movies. And it was real fun. And we had
popcorn. And Daddy let me sit in his lap so I could see better.
To stop this locution, the teachers joined together and taught
all of us that you may not start a sentence with a conjunction.
But they robbed us of a terric writing technique.
We do not have to look far for the proper rule. Of course
any myths haunt legal writers by admonishing
them to do this or not to do that. A list of the top
1. Never start sentences with a conjunction
2. Never split innitives
3. Never split multiword verbs
4. Never use contractions in formal writing
Myth 1: Never Start a Sentence with a Conjunction
In the English language, we have seven coordinating conjunc-
tions. These words join elements in grammatically parallel
series. They are also the only words in the English language
enabling you to join two independent clauses with a comma
(before the conjunction).
Thus, the word and joins elements in a series:
Our ag is red, white, and blue.
It also joins two independent clauses with a comma: