A child's garden of grammar by Tom Disch

By Tom Disch

Gentle verse and kooky illustrations make grammar their playground

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You may be thinking what if I Were on a plane about to crash. Surely it would not be rash To try to safely parachute.  The Institute Of Proper Speech gives not a hoot Whether you perish or you live And won't allow a split infinitive. Page 62 Page 63 Quotation Marks I said "I'm sorry: what'd you say? " take off your Walkman and listen to me? "Sorry, Mack, but I don't see A pair of squiggles when you speak. " When, months later, he called back, She had already married Jack. " the lad began.  Let me explain: The verb to be" "You're such a pain!

The whole world now is yours and mine That once, my love, was ours and thine. Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Definite and Indefinite Articles The, which seems the merest particle, In point of fact's a definite article- The word we make more use of every day Than any article except for A. A's indefinite, as is An: Nouns that have no other plan For being something other than A dog or cat, an ape or man Must take the article they can.  A wouldn't fit A bear so dear and definite.

Page 31 Proper Nouns Some nouns are proper, others plain. For instance, Massachusetts, Spain, Consolidated Edison, The Gap, Our fathers when we call them Pap, President Lincoln, Senator Dodd, The Pointer Sisters, Spot, and God Are classified as proper nouns, While fathers generally, like clowns, Are lower-cased to indicate Their lesser and improper state. Page 32 The Subject Page 33 Page 34 The Object Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 The Indirect Object I have to hand it to you, dear: You're the indirect object here Along with Thelma, Hank, and Hugh.

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