March 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

These are very dangerous creatures. They arrive on your doorstep impersonating salesmen and once you open the door they talk you into insanity. Biologically, they don’t produce saliva or breathe so there is no physical need for them to ever stop talking. They have vestigial ears that have become small lumps of flesh because there is no need for them to listen and many speculate that they can’t  see well either. Many great minds have been taken to insanity by a run-on, a tragic demise. Some have survived the ordeal; James Joyce is the most well known example. What follows is a section of his monumental attack, you can see that the Run-on responsible for this even scared off punctuation,   “Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to make himself interesting to that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing all for masses for herself and her soul greatest miser ever was actually afraid to lay out 4d for her methylated spirit telling me all her ailments she had too much old chat in her about politics and earthquakes and the end of the world let us have a bit of fun first God help the world if all the women were her sort down on bathing-suits and low necks of course nobody wanted her to wear I suppose she was pious because no man would look at her twice I hope I’ll never be like her a wonder she didnt want us to cover our faces but she was a well educated woman certainly and her gabby talk about Mr Riordan here and Mr Riordan there I suppose he was glad to get shut of her and her dog smelling my fur and always edging to get up under my petticoats especially then still I like that in him polite to old women like that and waiters and beggars too hes not proud out of nothing but not always if ever he got anything really serious the matter with him its much better for them go into a hospital where everything is clean but I suppose Id have to dring it into him for a month yes and then wed have a hospital nurse next thing on the carpet have him staying there till they throw him out or a nun maybe like the smutty photo he has shes as much a nun as Im not yes because theyre so weak and puling when theyre sick they want a woman to get well if his nose bleeds youd think it was O tragic and that dying looking one off the south circular when he sprained his foot at the choir party at the sugarloaf Mountain the day I wore that dress Miss Stack bringing him flowers the worst old ones she could find at the bottom of the basket anything at all to get into a mans bedroom with her old maids voice trying to imagine he was dying on account of her to never see thy face again though he looked more like a man with his beard a bit grown in the bed father was the same besides I hate bandaging and dosing when he cut his toe with the razor paring his corns afraid hed get blood poisoning but if it was a thing I was sick then wed see what attention only of course the woman hides it not to give all the trouble they do yes he came somewhere Im sure by his appetite anyway love its not or hed be off his feed thinking of her so either it was one of those night women if it was down there he was really and the hotel story he made up a pack of lies to hide it planning it Hynes kept me who did I meet…(Joyce, 1922)


1. A run-on sentence is a sentence in which two or more independent clauses (i.e., complete sentences) are joined without appropriate punctuation or conjunction.


§ 2 Responses to Run-ons

  • Belinda McLain says:

    In my humble opinion I do believe you Ella may have found “the worst old ones she could find at the bottom of the basket” at the bottom of the wall or the bottom or the barrel or the bottom of the dish or the bottom of the glass for all that foregoing matter which one might have found to be most appropriate for the prime example of a run-on whether it be in sentence form or phrase form or even into paragraph or story notwithstanding the lack of punctuation or flow of subject or coherent structure while relating how these dangerous creatures could and have arrived at my door and how they haunt me even to this day wielding their (s)words of vicariousness clogging my thought processes impeding my word flow hindering the completion of my works while preventing or at least momentarily preventing that which I would share with others that would surely be run-on.

    🙂 Luvin’ the blog!

  • Cathrine Greene says:

    I think this is a lot like life–just going on and on and on, isn’t it? with no reasonable end. My favorite beast yet!!!!!

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