Practice makes, uh…

  • “The men who wrote and ratified the Constitution had left women, sex, marriage out of it. ‘Remember the ladies,’ Abigail Adams had warned her husband in 1776…. That the framers of the Constitution had not resolved the question of slavery had led to a civil war…. Women had often written themselves into the Constitution by way of analogy.”

I revere history writer Jill Lepore, but she loves the past perfect tense and nobody has the nerve to stop her.

The past perfect routinely gums up her otherwise crisp writing.

I humbly suggest that in this paragraph, you can change most or all of the past perfect to simple past tense and the reader will glide through the text more easily:

  • “The men who wrote and ratified the Constitution left women, sex, marriage out of it. ‘Remember the ladies,’ Abigail Adams warned her husband in 1776…. That the framers of the Constitution didn’t resolve the question of slavery led to a civil war…. Women often wrote themselves into the Constitution by way of analogy.”

Simple, straightforward, not perfect.

Why do they call it perfect, anyway? It’s the one and only thing that makes Jill im.

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