The Spaceage Portal of Sentence Discovery

I received an email lately about an admirable new website, The Spaceage Portal of Sentence Discovery, that stores and classifies examples of “interesting sentence- and paragraph-level patterns, including figures of speech, grammatical-syntactic structures, and other rhetorical devices”.

It was created by David Clark, an English teacher who sees the educational value of collecting and systematically arranging sentences that exemplify these literary-linguistic structures and devices. (The project was also motivated by “unadulterated nerdiness”, something language enthusiasts will identify with.)

The portal offers a great range of categories, both familiar and obscure. Under hyperbole, for example, I found entertaining examples from Angela Carter, Ambrose Bierce, Shakespeare, Flann O’Brien, and others. Imagery, smell has a solitary example from Annie Proulx, so that tag would benefit from readers’ submissions.

To get a feel for how it works, click around and see what happens. If you’re into language and literature, you’re likely to find it fun and edifying. David would love to hear comments and suggestions, and he invites readers to use and share the site and contribute examples to its database. As he says: the bigger it becomes, the more valuable it can be.

7 Responses to The Spaceage Portal of Sentence Discovery

  1. Looks interesting. Good to see The dear mr O’Nolan got in, although Sgt Pluck would have been most welcome!

  2. Sean Jeating says:

    Not sure, if the following would get considered a gem by David. I enjoyed it, though.
    Having a tea; ignoring the sign This is a no smoking table. Rolling a cigarette, lighting it up.
    Waitress appearing: “Sorry, sir, this is a no smoking table.”
    Guest: “Ah, never mind. A smoking table would irritate me more.”
    Whereupon the waitress smiled, took the sign and put it on a table which until then had been … a smoking one. Obviously.

  3. Stan says:

    Jams: Yes, it was a pleasure to find him there. The Third Policeman isn’t currently among the sources, but that can be changed!

    Sean: Obviously. Your anecdote is like something from James Thurber — who, incidentally, is also among the authors used in the Spaceage Portal.

  4. David says:

    Thanks for looking at the page. I’ll make sure to add something exemplary from The Third Policeman next time I have the chance. And if any of you find something you think should be added, submit! I’m hoping that more people than just me will populate the example lists, in time.

  5. Stan says:

    You’re welcome, David. I’m sure the site will attract contributors; certainly it deserves to. Thanks for creating it, and for letting me know about it.

  6. […] and Dortspeak and questioned the “ideal” form of English. On his own blog, Mr. Carey let us know about the very cool Spaceage Portal of Sentence Discovery, “a database in which we the […]

  7. […] us an introduction to how Klingonwas invented, and while still on something of a Scifi theme introduced us to the Spaceage Portal of Sentence Discovery. And while we are looking into the future, the folk […]

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