Thursday, March 3, 2016

Diagramatically Speaking



I hit a spot today where my words cut loose. They were running every which way, like kittens. Now I’m turning them loose on you folks. It’s not my fault. Someone left the door open.


Hey, anyone out there remember diagramming sentences? I barely remember going up to the board (chalkboard, that is), writing a sentence, then drawing those lines underneath and labeling the words. Let’s see what I remember… okay, you start off with a straight line that the sentence sits on. And you start drawing off all these tree branches for all the sentence pieces/parts. Now, verbs and nouns, I get that. Verbs do things. Like ‘eat’ and ‘sit’ and ‘discombobulate’. Then you got your nouns, which are things, such as ‘paper’ or ‘calipers’. Verbs do stuff to nouns. Which can be gross sometimes.


What gets confusing is sometimes nouns get weird and do verb stuff. Like ‘paper’. You can write on paper, but you can paper a wall. We in the writerly profession call those schizoid words. They can’t make up their minds what they want to be. And sometimes they’ll even change right smack dab in the middle of a sentence. Here, watch this. I’m going to write on some paper right after I paper the wall. See what I mean? Confusing.


But, we haven’t gone out in left field yet. There are other words that modify other words. And I’m not sure whether or not the words that are being modified necessarily want to be modified. All sounds kinda rude to me. Well, anyway, they’re called adjucates. Yup. So you start off with a nice, simple word like ‘toy’. It’s minding its own business when all of a sudden here comes this adjucate, and now you’ve got a ‘broken toy’. That’s just messed up. But that's the way those adjucates work.

That's all the time we have tonight, folks. We'll pick up again soon with Diagramming Sentences for Fun and Profit.

Keep writing, friends.

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