General Writing and Grammar Help/sentence structure


QUESTION: What's the best way to capture someone waiting endlessly.  Is the following acceptable?

Then, I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  

OR  Then, I waited, and waited, and waited.

OR  Then, I waited, and waited, and waited.....

(I know "and" does not begin a sentence, but I don't think 'and" alone is a sentence.)

ANSWER: I answered this question; their computer says I didn't.  So, I'm sending you this note to satisfy their computer!  mb

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Martha,
This one I had not heard from you.....hmmmmmm.  It's probably my at&t email.  It got messed up when their email service was bought by another company. So, if you have time, please let me know your thoughts.  I know you said "And" is not a good way to begin a sentence, but in this situation it might be okay. (1st example) Thanks!

Sometimes (often) they don't let me know there's a letter waiting....until I get a "hie thee to the website or thou art in big trouble."  Aggravating!  Argh.....

Let me check the "answers sent" file and get back to you.  I know I answered this.............

Well, I know I answered it, but the system appears to have eaten it.


I like the first one, using the periods.  A period indicates a "stop" and using them here reinforces the waiting.

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Martha Beth Lewis


I will answer questions having to do with grammar, plurals, punctuation, capitalization, mood, person, tense, and so on, as well as word usage and word choice. If you want a quick answer to a specific question, particularly if you wish to use formal American English for business or academic purposes (MLA), I can give you a timely response. I also can address word choice, clarity, structure, and similar concerns involving English as a second language. If you want advice of a deeper editorial nature (e.g., substantive [line] editing), please consult an Expert who offers this sort of assistance; I do not offer this sort of assistance.


I was employed as an editor for the graduate school at a major U.S. university and specialized in dissertations. I have over 200 publications in professional journals, consumer magazines, and newspapers. I am the author of five books and numerous syllabi in an arts field. I also am a freelance line editor, copy editor, and proofreader (over 40 years), and I have written or edited countless community organizations' newsletters and promotional materials.

Note: When using a word as a word in a sentence, such as: Put a period after the word dog, =dog= should be set in italics. Since I do not have access to italics here, I shall use = on either side of the word or phrase that properly should appear in italics. For the above example: Put a period after the word =dog=. Also, ~~please do not mark your questions as private~~. I will change them to public because I don't want to type the same answer twice! Thanks for your understanding.

If you submit a question to other Experts or the pool, I'd appreciate it if you would >>NOT<< submit it to me, also. It's like asking several people out on a date and choosing among those who said yes! This implies my time and particular expertise are worth nothing to you. I want to spend my time responding to those who find my qualifications germane to their question. Remember: I'm a volunteer!

Education B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Ph.D.

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I ask that you >>COME BACK TO READ MY RESPONSE<<. I've taken time to write the best response I can, so you should come back to read it! It's disheartening to respond to a question, only to see later that the person has not bothered to come back. Remember: I'm a volunteer!

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I am happy to help you - that's why I volunteered - but please remember I *am* a volunteer and extend me normal courtesies, such as no multiple submissions and not bothering to come back for your answer. mb

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