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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Parts of Speech

People are always emailing me asking grammar questions - friends, relatives, Bang2writers, colleagues. They must think I do nothing but sit around reading about the damn stuff... Alright, I admit it: sad it is, I'm a grammar junkie. I find it really interesting - especially when people go off on one about a particular point. Virtually nothing in grammar is written in stone, not really: that's why language can change and we're not all talking now like Shakespeare. And thank God for that! Just imagine how long this blog would be if it was written in Shaky's language - much as I love him, he was a bit of a windbag.

Latest addition to the Bang2write grammar library is Judy Parkinson's "I Before E". This is a class book with plenty of mnemonics and aide memoires for those of us who have trouble remembering what the hell everything is in our peskily complicated language. Here's one:

"Every name is called a noun,
As in field, fountain, street and town.

In place of noun the pronoun stands,
As he or she can clap their hands.

The adjective describes a thing,
As magic wand and bridal ring.

How things are done, the adverbs tell,
As quickly, slowly, badly, well.

The preposition shows relation,
As in the street, or at the station.

Conjunctions join, in many ways,
Sentences, words, or phrase and phrase.

The interjection cries out "Hark!
I need an exclamation mark!"

Through poetry, we learn how each
Of these makes up Parts of Speech."

From "I Before E (Except After C): Old School Ways to Remember Stuff" By Judy Parkinson. Buy it here.

1 comment:

Eleanor said...

Well is an adverb? But it doesn't have a y after it!

Then again, if it did it would be a noun.

Darn it! This here English Language sure is a pesky thing!