Re: Is syntax important?
Here's something that I've been noticing recently in contemporary writers (in writers of thrillers specifically, but I think we can extend it to all types of writers). I've come across sentences in which the relative clause is separated by a full stop from the main clause, while generally we find a comma or nothing ar all: for instance we can write I saw George, who was smoking a cigarette. Now the latest fashion would seem to be writing sentences like I saw George. Who was smoking a cigarette (of course the sentence would be a bit longer than this one). I've never found this thing in older writers, neither in English nor in Italian (it would be the same: Ho visto Giorgio. Che fumava una sigaretta), and now that I'm reading John Grisham's The Broker I've seen two examples of this phenomenon. Now, I don't know if that's something older than I think it is. Anyway, I can't really see why one should want to separate the relative clause from the main one: considering that a relative clause is a subordinate clause, it's absurd to separate the two clauses, as the relative one would stop being a subordinate at all (a convoluted reasoning, I know, I hope I've expressed myself).
While using this kind of sentences does not compromise the understanding, I see the whole thing as useless and illogic from a syntactic point of view.
The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.