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).