We Don’t Do Tech Writing Like This Any More

rogersgeorge on September 20th, 2017

Here’s a sentence from some correspondence from the 1700’s:

Your Majesty’s Ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent to the affections of your still faithful Colonists, that when we consider whom we must oppose in this contest, and if it continues, what may be the consequences, our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.

It’s from a document called “The Olive Branch Petition,” addressed to King George III (but delivered to the Earl of Dartmouth) not long before the revolutionary war, written by Richard Penn and Arthur Lee, representing the Continental Congress. The king wouldn’t even read it, but not because of the complexity of the sentence, I suspect.

Here’s an exercise for you: Rewrite that sentence in today’s English. You can make more than one sentence out of it, and I recommend you do.

PS—I just realized that this is my 500th post! As my brother would say, Hoo-ah!

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