Sentence Fragment or Regular Sentence with Elliptical Construction


For good reason, we teach students that incomplete sentences are wrong. Later, as students master the various sentence structures, we allow them to discover that sentence fragments have a useful place in writing -- if used with discretion.


In my paragraph below, my fourth sentence is a fragment, or is it? Some would say that it is a regular sentence of elliptical construction. I have omitted words that can be understood from the context (and used a comma per Chicago 6.49 to mark the elision).


What do you think about this usage (and this paragraph)?


Tracyites tolerated, if not embraced, the vice. Often, as can be seen in George Tinkham’s writings on San Joaquín County history, the rest of the county viewed Tulare Township as an awkward stepchild—best if unnoticed. San Joaquín county officials—the sheriff and district attorney in Stockton—largely ignored Poker City’s licentiousness, content to look the other way. This, despite (or maybe because of) Sheriff William H. Riecks’ roots as a native son of the township. Still, the politicians mounted the occasional campaign to shutter the bordellos and remove the slot machines. But Tracyites would have none of it, going so far as to recall a reformer from office in 1937.

asked Sep 17 '12 at 00:22 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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