The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘grammar’

Poets Want Their Privacy, and Other News

April 2, 2014 | by

1000px-Cctv.svg

Smile, you're on CCTV.

 

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Fake Locales with Real Visitors, and Other News

March 21, 2014 | by

timberline lodge

The Timberline Lodge, in Mount Hood, Oregon—more often taken for the Overlook Hotel, which it portrayed in 1980’s The Shining. Photo: mthoodterritory.com

 

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A Most Searching Examination

February 27, 2014 | by

sentence diagrams

Image via Pop Chart Lab

Pop Chart Lab, whose laudable ambition is “to render all of human experience in chart form,” is offering a print consisting of twenty-nine first sentences from novels, including one of my favorites, from David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress: “In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.” Of course, a print comprised of nothing but text would be not much of a print at all, so Pop Chart Lab has done us the favor of diagramming every sentence according to the Reed-Kellogg System, color coded and all. Plotting out the beginning of Don Quixote is, as you can see, complicated.

As a pedagogical device, sentence diagrams have fallen out of fashion; I never had to draw them (if that’s even the right verb) in school, nor was I made to study any grammar beyond the rudimentary parts of speech. This makes me feel like a fraud whenever I pretend to be a grammarian, as I often do. In fact, before today, I’d never heard of the Reed-Kellogg System; it sounds to me like a proprietary method for processing and packaging cornflakes.

Actually, it dates back to 1877, when it was invented by two men with great names, Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg. Though the Don Quixote sample is intimidating, diagramming sentences turns out to be fairly intuitive. (“And fun!” adds a sad, sorry voice in my head.) You begin with the base, a horizontal line; write the subject on the left and the predicate on the right, separated by a vertical bar. Then separate the verb and its object with another mark—if you have a direct object, use a vertical line, and if you have a predicate noun (had to look that up) or an adjective (that one I knew), use a backslash. Modifiers of the subject, predicate, or object “dangle below the base.” Read More »

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Los Angeles Will Never Look the Same in Movies, and Other News

February 4, 2014 | by

cleantechnica-led-street-lighting-lights-lamps-sodium-vapor-mercury-clean-green-la-los-angeles

Photo: Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting

 

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A 1912 Eighth-Grade Grammar Test: Predictably Demoralizing

August 12, 2013 | by

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A Book Vending Machine, and Other News

June 14, 2013 | by

bookvending

  • A California library introduces a children’s book vending machine!
  • The perfect number of children for literary success: a slideshow
  • As dirt goes, this seems pretty tame, but: it seems Avril Danica Haines, nominated as CIA number two, used to read Anne Rice (or should we say, A. N. Roquelaure?) aloud at her bookstore’s erotica night.
  • “Grammar cops are rarely good writers. Imagination always disobeys.” Sherman Alexie starts a Tweet storm.
  • We have mentioned Japan’s book towers, or tawaa tsumi, before. But I think we can agree that we all need to see more. (Even if the trend has been exaggerated.) 
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