A Tramp Abroad By Mark Twain






































































































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Yet even the German books are not entirely free from attacks
of the Parenthesis distemper - though they are usually so - Page 520
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Yet Even The German Books Are Not Entirely Free From Attacks Of The Parenthesis Distemper - Though They Are Usually So

Mild as to cover only a few lines, and therefore when you at last get down to the verb it

Carries some meaning to your mind because you are able to remember a good deal of what has gone before. Now here is a sentence from a popular and excellent German novel - which a slight parenthesis in it. I will make a perfectly literal translation, and throw in the parenthesis-marks and some hyphens for the assistance of the reader - though in the original there are no parenthesis-marks or hyphens, and the reader is left to flounder through to the remote verb the best way he can:

"But when he, upon the street, the (in-satin-and-silk-covered- now-very-unconstrained-after-the-newest-fashioned-dressed) government counselor's wife MET," etc., etc. [1]

1. Wenn er aber auf der Strasse der in Sammt und Seide gehuellten jetz sehr ungenirt nach der neusten mode gekleideten Regierungsrathin begegnet.

That is from THE OLD MAMSELLE'S SECRET, by Mrs. Marlitt. And that sentence is constructed upon the most approved German model. You observe how far that verb is from the reader's base of operations; well, in a German newspaper they put their verb away over on the next page; and I have heard that sometimes after stringing along the exciting preliminaries and parentheses for a column or two, they get in a hurry and have to go to press without getting to the verb at all.

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