Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The never-ending sentence

We have a priest here at the Church Center who often does the homily at noon Eucharist. He's a hard one to sit through because he has this habit of run-on sentences, chock-full of red-herring almost-endings. Do you know what I mean? Let me give you an example.

"Thus showing that God's mercy is boundless and his forgiveness overflows . . . (voice drops - good place to end here) . . . like a mighty river to the sea . . . (OK, voice drops again - second good place to call it quits) . . . with all the company of Heaven celebrating the return of the lost lamb . . . (please, put a period here, sir) . . . forever and ever . . . (this has to be the end!) . . . and ever . . . (oh, Lord, make him stop) . . . and ever . . . (help!) . . . amen."

Those of us in the small congregation have been tricked so many times in the final 2 minutes of his sermon that we all hesitate to add our own "amens." We come to a consensus, eyes communicating "do you think he finally ended it?", then feel free to continue with the service.

Ever have a teacher or co-worker or uncle who just hates to end a sentence? It's particularly painful when you're a captive audience, in church or a classroom or a committee meeting. Nowhere to run. Torture! (But they're usually nice people, otherwise.)


Em said...

Very funny! Thank goodness our minister does not do that. I'm not sure I could endure the never-ending sermon!

Winston said...


Actually, I think I do that sometimes. But not verbally, just when writing. I must get on your nerves...

Is that an Escher print? I love his stuff, but get disoriented, nay, nauseous, looking at them.

MaryB said...

Em - yeah, the ministers at my church at home don't do that, either. I'd've been long gone!

Winston - Well, there's a difference between an oral run-on sentence and a written one. I mean, when you're reading you can just skip over that part if you want, right? And yes, that's an Escher. It was the best visual I could find to illustrate what I was talking about.

Clare said...

My brother rambles on about nothing and then pauses, but before anyone can jump in to change the subject he adds in a "But, um..." so he can keep the floor. Sneaky, I say!

MaryB said...

Darn sneaky! Like the priest who keeps adding "and ever."