Notifications
Sign Up Sign In
Q&A

Is there a name for this kind of sentence structure?

+4
−0

I've seen this construction quite a bit, although only in the last five years or so. It's a transcription of a way of speaking, where the speaker is emphasizing something by using a verbal full stop after several words in a row, no matter where it is in the sentence. To wit:

  • Please don't use the "Prologue, then flashback" technique because it has been done. to. death. lately and I am sick of it.
  • "We are going to do this because we were hired to do it, and then we. Are. Finished. Forever. I don't ever want to speak to you again."
  • That episode of The Simpsons? Best. Episode. Ever.

Does this structure have a name? And while we're at it, is there any convention to how the words are capitalized? I used all three ways I've seen it (no caps because it's in the middle of a sentence, caps after every period, three "single-word sentences") in the examples above.

(My guess is that it originated from Comic Book Guy's catchphrase, but that's neither here nor there.)

Why should this post be closed?

0 comments

3 answers

+2
−0

A cursory search yielded a few instances of other people asking the same question on other sites, but no actual technical terminology or guidelines. I agree with LaurenIpsum's comment: I think this is a writing technique which, like all others, is a stylistic choice of the writer. Look at Faulkner's writing-- he left out punctuation, apostrophes, you name it. In this specific case, it seems the writer wants to convey emphasis.

My point is, wield written language and all its acoutrements however you like to get your point across. If the reader manages to understand why you formatted something the way you did and through it gains a greater insight into the meaning of the text, then you just might've made a good choice. Otherwise-- perhaps you're still in the realm of misunderstood genius.

And in the end: No, not every formatting method has been given a name quite yet. I believe this is one such method.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/5321. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+0
−1

I would call it aperiodic periods.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/5334. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+0
−2

Rather than temporal spacing, I think this is more of a technique of emphasis. This is used where you would like to draw the listener's focus to a word or phrase in the (long) sentence.

Sometimes this is purely a dramatizing gimmick, though:

A...n...d, the awa..rd goes t..o.. ...

Not just words, even syllables could be spaced out for the effect.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/5320. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

Sign up to answer this question »