Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grammar Comes out of the Closet

On this, the first day of the month that ushers in Spring, let’s delve deep into the closet
where the old, the broken and the obsolete is stored.
Underneath those outgrown hockey skates, the defunct breadmaker and 8 dozen tangled power cords lies Grammar, gasping for air but still filled with gumption and conjunctions.

Come with Your Prude as we metaphorically rescue of this Branch of Knowledge that is often feared, frequently abused, and consistently misused.

But wait, you declare.
Has The Prude shown definitively that Grammar is worth fighting for? What has Grammar done for me lately? And will The Prude make me diagram a sentence?

Friends, let me point out that Grammar can be the bridge that unites the generations,
the silver cord that binds mother to son, father to daughter, Republican to Democrat,
the trunk of the Tree of Language where we develop fruitful communication.

Today we want to look at the very language of Grammar and discover the excitement that lurks beneath intransitive verbs and comma splices.

Where would 13-year-old girls be without exclamation points? The 2 year old without question marks?  A parent without a ‘That is final. Period.’ or a busy executive without a dash?  And how could the indecisive and forgetful survive without the ellipsis?
Don’t forget the resurgence of Quotation Marks “drawn” in air. Grammar flaunts them as the first “virtual” punctuation and brags that they are AKA  “air” or “finger” quotes.

Behold the riches that are contained in the language of grammar!
Passive and Active Voice resonate with every day care worker and dog trainer
Independent Clause- what American doesn’t cherish the word ‘independent’? It gets the patriotic blood a-boiling.
Possessives- a word that the socialists among us can cling to. Or spit at.
Gender- You can’t live in the 21st century without running smack-dab into gender agreement.
Abstract nouns appeal to the philosopher, Interrogatives ensure that all the police/courtroom dramas exude authority, while politicians love to refer to subordinating (the other guy) or coordinating (themselves)
And no one understands mood better than that 13 year old girl and her 50-something mother.

The Grammar Surface has only been lightly scratched! Tomorrow we approach, with great respect, the crème de la crème of Grammar: The Literary Term.
You may want to have your tea and scones on standby.

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