And the longest sentence award goes to…

July 18, 2008

Richard Liantonio.

I have never known a man who wrote longer sentences than Richard Liantonio. (Charles Dickens wrote some pretty long ones… but I can’t claim to know him. That would be… well, impossible.)

But Richard has just outdone himself.

134 words.

One hundred and thirty-four words.

With only EIGHT sentences of that length, you could exceed the limit on a thousand-word essay. Can you imagine an essay with only eight periods in it?

I guess it’s a good thing Richard has more occasion for writing 25-page papers than he has for writing 1000-word essays.

In any case, this lengthy sentence is actually pretty great. And I think it’s worth reading.

It’s a prayer. (Maybe there’s some sort of single-sentence prayer protocol that I am simply ignorant of.)

You can find these 134 words of run-on glory here: A Prayer for the Love of Life. Read it (a few times). Pray it. … Count the words for yourself. 🙂



  1. Note: This little post about his 134-word sentence used a total of 158 words. And I repeated myself a lot.

    I exceeded him in word-length by only 24 words. But I wrote 16 sentences more than he did. 🙂

  2. Sigh. I used to write long sentences. When I was young. Now I’m more likely to try to pass off fragments as sentences and to otherwise opt for brevity. Sort of.

    Sometimes I wonder if my acquiescence to all those (including your mother) who encouraged me to be more readable wasn’t an error. A couple of possibilities haunt me. One is that the long, convoluted sentence is more indigenous to my thought and, therefore, I’ll never quite communicate effectively without it. The other is that by applying pressure to sentence length, I’ve forced the irregularity to manifest in some other (maybe worse) functional unreadability. But that’s both melodramatic and a false dichotomy. Still, rightly or not, sometimes I wonder.

    I actually do like to sprinkle my writing with what seem to me to be freakishly short sentences. So I suppose there’s a perverse joy on both sides.

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