Thursday, June 3, 2010


If you think grammar is grueling and punctuation is boring, this blog may change your thinking.

Here's an example of the importance of a well-placed hyphen.

Sunday evening service at a small Florence church was song time. Requests flowed freely. "Mrs. Buckley, would you like to come sing your song for us tonight?" She had written a song and was well known for it within her small congregation. She sang it often. So this impromptu request was nothing new.

"Well, actually I wrote a new song this week," she ambled down the aisle, guitar in hand. As she tuned it, she shared, "The Lord gimme this one, so I hope it blesses you."

She strummed an F chord then began to twang,
"I feel like hel,
I feel like hel,
I feel like hel-ping someone today."

I have days like that too. Both.

Do you know how important the comma is? Leaving one out makes brilliant bovine!

* We spent most of our vacation time sitting on the back porch watching the cows playing Scrabble and reading.

* In an estate dispute, a judge ruled that in the case of Tom, Dick and Harry, Tom got 50% while Dick and Harry split 50%, since Tom was considered a single entity and Dick and Harry were an entity. If the will had been written Tom, Dick, and Harry, they would have each received 33 1/3% of the inheritance.

* The burglar was about 30 years old, white, 5'10", with wavy hair weighing about 150 pounds.

* Punctuation is important but was non-existent in Greek. So it was added in scripture to clarify meanings for us. Here's an example of the effects of a comma from Eph. 4:20. The original wording did not include the words "but rather" and read:

"Let him who stole, steal no more. Let him labor with his hands."

A slight rearranging of punctuation reverses the meaning:

"Let him who stole, steal. No more let him labor with his hands.

* Commas saves lives: "Let's eat Grandpa." vs. "Let's eat, Grandpa."

* Here's an actual Blizzard ad:

epic fail pictures
Yummo! I love Girl Scouts! Especially the chocolate mint ones.

Granted, English is weird. Why is the word abbreviation so long? Is the cruel person who put the S in lisp the same one who thought the word phonics should start with a PH?

Agreed, English is also a difficult language. That's why it's a subject you take from grade school right into college!

Here are a few from a friend and fellow wordsmith, Judy Combs:

* The family lawyer will read the will tomorrow at the residence of Mr. Hannon, who died June 19 to accommodate his relatives.

* Organ donations from the living reached a record high last year, outnumbering donors who are dead for the first time.

* Residents will be given information on how to reduce the amount of garbage they generate in the form of lectures, printed literature, and promotional items.

* The body was found in an alley by a passerby with a bullet in his head.

* Mrs. Shirley Baxter, who went deer hunting with her husband, is very proud that she was able to shoot a fine buck as well as her husband.

* I told my son to take his father up the stairs his shirt.
* * *
The book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by the UK author Lynne Truss, has fun with this subject. The joke upon which the title of this book is based goes roughly like this:

A panda walks into a restaurant and eats a meal. He picks up a pistol, fires it at the waiter, and walks out.

As the panda's leaving, the victim moans, "Why?"

The panda shrugs, "I'm a panda; look it up."

With his last burst of strength, the man grabs a dictionary (yes, there is a dictionary in the restaurant) and reads the following entry:
Panda: Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

And on that ridiculous note, I shall make like a tree and leaf!

(sans dangling participles)


  1. Well said, Aunt Kathy! :)

    An English professor asked his students to punctuate a sentence. He wrote on the board:

    "A woman without her man is nothing"

    The male students submitted:
    "A woman, without her man, is nothing."

    The female students wrote:
    "A woman: without her, man is nothing."

    Yup, punctuation is powerful!!!

  2. Stephen Caine commented on your link:

    "I like my blizzard without girl scouts. Too chunky!"

  3. How about the insurance claim that read, "Man drove car off the road, through a field, and into a ditch trying to kill a fly." This was my kind of blog. I'm a grammar NUT!