However? Whatever!

I’m posting this at stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning because I was rudely awakened by scaffolders working on the house next door. We asked the guy who owns the house if they wouldn’t mind moving their poles from outside our garage because Keith needs to get his classic car out to get some work done on it. That was last week, so they come today, Sunday morning, 8.15 am! Not impressed and I’m yawning as I type! I have a quiet day’s writing ahead of me, planning to start chapter two of ‘Episode’, but I could cheerfully go back to bed! ZZZZZZZ!

Meanwhile, back to this week’s blog post about the word ‘however’: can you use it at the beginning of a sentence? Definitely, if the sentence goes something like this: ‘However much you want to consider…’

Otherwise, if I use it in the middle of a sentence: ‘When we arrived at the shop, however, it was closed’ I would use a comma. If I’m using it as a bridge or transition to qualify information given, I would use a semicolon: ‘The weather was cold; however, he was wearing a thick coat.’ The problem with words like ‘however’ is that they aren’t used in everyday speech, so when it comes to writing them, it’s quite difficult to decide how to treat them. My problem is I’m quite old-fashioned: I don’t like starting a sentence with words like ‘And’, ‘But’ or even ‘Because’ (unless the context is something like, ‘Because of the injury, there were three minutes of stoppage time’), but I know these days those rules are relaxed and everyone and his dog does it (‘cept me!)

As you may or may not already know, I have a day job where I type clinic letters for doctors at a local hospital. Let’s be honest, doctors are clever-ish people, but they can neither spell properly, nor can they write legibly, so where do they get off correcting me – wot writes these books – on my grandma – I mean, my grammar?

On their dictations they say ‘full-stop’ (that’s ‘period’ to any American reading this: giggle) and then they say ‘However…’ (capital aitch); with me being a writer and knowing more or less WTF I’m doing, I ignore that and I type semicolon (or a comma if I think it merits it) then I type ‘however’ (lower case aitch). Why? 99 times out of a 100 I’m using the transition/bridging rule: ‘however’ is, in fact, a continuation of a sentence where it clarifies a point made in the previous part of the sentence. No one usually dares to correct me (though not everyone at work knows I’m a writer) and the grammar check doesn’t wet itself over it.

So, anyway, (and normally I don’t like beginning a sentence with ‘so’, but what the hell!) this week a particular consultant dictated this unfeasibly long letter I was lucky enough to type and she’s one of these who likes to correct after printing instead of correcting online like everyone else. She wrote ‘however’ about a million times and decided to correct me by taking out my semicolons and using full-stops. OK, I thought, I’ll play along, so I did as I was bid, but was I miffed by her corrections? A tad.

The only time I will comply by ‘full-stop. However…’ is if there are like a million words that come before it, so I break it up by the full-stop, but that’s only because I have to think of the poor soul who has to read the letter at the other end (more often than not a patient, dazed by all the jargon to begin with and wondering if the person dictating actually has a life). No one likes to read massive paragraphs not broken up by commas, colons and semicolons, but that’s the rubbish I have to type.

It’s not the rubbish I like to write, though, not if I can help it.

There are many grammatical articles online on this and not all of them agree with one another, so what’s the solution?

Simples: think about your readers and don’t go mad with your ‘howevers’. Just keep your sentences snappy and short!




Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Physics and Art

The strange case of Dr. August and Mr. von Orth.


The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce


A novel inspired by Roger Brierley (1586 - 1637)

Lloyd S.R.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But a thousand words can be worth a thousand pictures” — Lloyd S.R

Sliver of Darkness

I'm the last words of a slain poet

Our Movie Life

...or the Cinephile Bible.

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humor and courgettes


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

word and silence

Poetry, History, Mythology


Sabbles woz 'ere


A town everyone hates, yet no one leaves...

This Southern Blog

A whimsical journey

Commercial Society

Sometimes commercials are the best part of TV.


Submitting to the Glorious Inevitable

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.


A great site

Cafe Book Bean

Talk Books. Drink Coffee.

Logical Quotes

Logical and Inspirational quotes


to be confirmed

Dr. K. L. Register

Just a small town girl who writes about Christian stuff.


A muse, mic and masquerade of anthropological typing.

Barnaby Taylor - Author

5 ★★★★★ Fiction

Selected Essays and Squibs by Joseph Suglia

The Web log of Dr. Joseph Suglia

It Started in Oxford

Lifestyle posts from a Brit in Georgia

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words


Sophie, age 11, book reviewer

Julayn Adams

Books and Reviews


A home for legit sites and recommendations

Kate Beth Heywood

Author of the savagely funny debut novel, Anti-Social Media


My journey - The good, bad and the ugly


"A Blog worth reading "

Vivian Copeland's Best Books Of All Time

Highlighting great books to share the love of reading.

Publishing Insights

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose / The more things change, the more they stay the same

An Entrepreneur's Mastermind

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

%d bloggers like this: