I misplaced my modifier

In seventh grade, I had to take a grammar class. I wonder if kids today are still dragged to the blackboard and forced to diagram a sentence the length of a football field. There was always that one girl in the class (since boys typically communicated through grunts and armpit farts) who could do it without breaking a sweat. I was not that girl.

In tenth grade, I took a remedial grammar class. It started out with the sentence, “Birds eat.” We were asked to identify which word was the noun, and which was the verb. I figured I stood a 50/50 chance of getting it right. The point is that it took me twelve years and a college Spanish grammar class to learn the English language.

The average American would rather eat rusty nails than try to conjugate a verb, so I know that your mind has already wandered off and you are thinking about pizza (thin crust, extra pepperoni). Bare with me. (Translation: let’s get naked together. Also acceptable, Bear with me: let’s go hunting grizzlies. Don’t get me started on “pair.”)

I know I’ll probably be tarred and feathered for this, but I think all Americans should learn a second language. I learned most of my English grammar in Spanish class. As it is, we’re very egotistical about the merits of a language which few people can speak properly. I would suggest Hawaiian, except that they have a definite shipping problem with consonants. They have a strict quota, and once you run out, you have to make up shit like auauieia (translation: the pig ate my socks).

Respect grammar for what it is: a boring exercise in language arts. I’ll leave you with this thought. In my remedial grammar class, a boy, who was sweet on my friend, used one of the most unusual pick-up lines ever. He turned to her and said “Fart is a verb.” (Fart, farted, farten).

14 thoughts on “I misplaced my modifier

  1. I think grammar is nice for protecting our language but does the English language really need protecting? LOL. Please stop by The Desert Rocks to read my review of Box of Rocks.

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  3. English was my best subject in school…but I really don’t remember much of that crap.

    • I think you’re in the majority. I regularly did a brain dump right after a grammar test.

  4. I tried plugging gueret’s comment from above into an online Hawaiian to English translator and all I got was:

    “Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?”

    Somehow I think I may have possibly, probably…made a wrong turn. Not to worry, I’ll figure it out. Eventually.

    I was that irritating little girl at the blackboard, diagramming sentences like the wind. Don’t hate. Especially since you see how much I’ve retained.


  5. I understand enough French to be pretty sure his comment wasn’t a veiled insult … I think. I can’t swear to the Hawaiians. I think aloha is a secret code for “what an ass!” Diagramming was one of the most painful things I did at school, and that includes walking into the boys’ locker room by mistake.

  6. I took French immersion in school. I’ve let my fluency get a bit rough from lack of use.

    Of course, across the river from us over in Quebec, there’s something called the language police, dedicated to preserving the Quebecois French language at all costs, even if it means store signs must be in overwhelming French with English in the fine print.

    The language police make the Ministry of Silly Walks look respectable.

  7. I took French and Spanish but have forgotten most of both. I actually learned Hungarian before I learned English, but I forgot that too! At least I can speak English fairly well.

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