Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lions and Leopards and Lemurs. Oh my! (Plus hallucinatory eagles.)

Recently, I did another installment of silly sentence diagrams. This one involved alliteration. Or L-iteration. Also the occasional differentiation between indirect objects and prepositional phrases.

Eric handled it beautifully, of course.

1. Lee likes lions.
2. Laura likes loquacious lions.
3. Linda loves lions and lemurs.
4. Lou loves listless lions and lollygagging lemurs.

5. Luke lent a leopard to Leopold.
6. Luke lent Leopold a leopard.
7. Leopold loaned Luke a loon.

From some twisted sense of sentence solidarity, though, I also allowed Eric to assign me a hard sentence to diagram.

Wait, I remember what I was thinking. Foolishly, I hoped this offer would motivate him to compose a compound/complex sentence with multiple subjects. You know, like "My beautiful Mom and strong, brave Dad, both of whom are really smart, enjoy doing futoshiki puzzles while flirting with each other."

Instead, I was bonked with the boomerang of unintended consequence.

You may recall that, in a recent post, I mentioned how I taught Eric about dangling participles. Granted, it was a side issue brought about by my tricksiness. But it was very generous of me to take the time away from torturing the translator to explain the point.

And how did he repay my kindness?

With a craven act of vile vengeance.

[For a typed transcript, scroll to the bottom of this post.]

So, should I retaliate by giving him a super hard sentence? I'm afraid I'd rue that chicken coming home to roost. Obviously I should punish him by giving him really boring sentences.

Okay, Eric. Tomorrow's assignment is to diagram a "Dick and Jane" story.

See Dick yawn. Yawn, Dick, yawn. See Jane do grammar. No, no, Jane. It is a bad idea to deliberately split infinitives....

A note: I composed the text for this post while Jon was watching "Kid History" on youtube. Very distracting.

Any mistakes in my grammar should be blamed on him. Or Eric. Or karma. --GHB

My handwriting can be hard to read. I offer a transcription of the last two images.

[Eric's handwriting] Flying over the canyon, I saw an eagle.

[Gail's handwriting--lasts for the duration]

I told Eric to write a "really tricksy" sentence for me to diagram. That scamp deliberately threw a dangling participle at me!

I think I'll just re-write the durn thing.

If the eagle is flying:


If I am flying, I'm either hallucinating (and thus in no condition to be diagramming sentences -- ooh! purple platypus! with pustules!), or I have an amazing magical gift (and should be leveraging it into money, not wasting my time diagramming sentences), or I'm on an airplane. We'll assume the lattest (superlative of "latter").

Obviously I'm on a long flight and so deathly bored I'm alternating between staring out the window--look, an eagle!--and diagramming sentences.

[page turn]

How pathetic is that? I'd rather be hallucinating.

Wait a minute...what's an eagle doing at this altitude? Maybe I am hallucinating.

Perhaps if I ignore it by immersing myself in the dull prosody of sentence diagrams, it will go away.

(While) flying over the canyon (in an airplane) (on a broomstick)*, I saw an eagle.



[alternate diagram]

* remember my altitude concerns


Jon said...

I keep telling you that this whole knowledge thing will only bring trouble. Don't you ever listen?

Carolyn said...

You were obviously just flying in a little prop plane at 2 or 3 thousand feet. An eagle could easily make it up there!

Jon said...

What altitude might that be? Sure you're not about to crash? Nope, it's just your imagination.