I only just realized that the entire first half of the National Anthem, from the beginning to “gallantly streaming,” is a single sentence.
The preamble to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is a single sentence that has been called “the unconditional surrender of the English language”.
And two out of the three sentences in the lyrics end with a question mark.
Probably because it was originally written in French. The syntax and structure is typical of a French legal document as is actually quite readable. The English translation sticks to this structure and that makes it less idiomatic.
I didn’t pay close attention to the threading, and my first thought on reading Greg’s comment was, “Really? Francis Scott Key was writing in French?”
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 588 other followers