Blues and violets were dancing together across the sky, accompanied by the setting sun. The trees on the hills strained to touch their tips to the periwinkle above. The highway dipped like a roller coaster and rippled for several more miles. It was a late-April evening in northern Florida, and it had been a day.
You know how some days can make your heart thump-thump-thump? My heart had been thump-thump-thumpy all day. Lessons hadn’t gone as planned and students were excessively edgy. Too many unexpected events, too many interruptions, too many minor hiccups were the perfect cocktail for a thump-thump-thumpy heart.
Prefixes and suffixes were next on the list for Grammar for the People, but while thinking it through, I realized it makes more sense to write about parts of speech first. Prefixes and suffixes build onto words, making new ones, so they will follow parts of speech.
Perhaps you think parts of speech are meaningless modifiers. Perhaps you think they are silly distinctions. Language without parts of speech would be vague at best and entirely indecipherable at worst. Each part of speech has a specific job and lets readers know what the words are doing in their respective sentences. We need these qualifiers to fathom language in the world around us.
Pinterest, HGTV, and lifestyle blogs all contribute fabulous ideas of how to reorganize or renovate your home (be it an apartment, dorm room, or house) into the space you dream of. Now I like Pinterest and a smattering of lifestyle blogs as much as the next person but—by golly—those ideas usually require a hefty investment of time or cash. So what do you do when your Pinterest boards are overflowing and you’re ready to freshen up and change your living space but your time and money are already budgeted? You start small.
Begin with what you have and take care of it. While you’re saving for that piece of furniture or waiting for weekends to work on your DIY projects, work with what you have and keep everything clean and tidy.
How does cleaning and tidying get you the house you dream of? Well, it doesn’t by itself. Cleaning is the stepping stone between what you have and what you want. When the desire to nest sets in, there is a pull to do things immediately, to get your dream space now. But when your schedule is full and you’re waiting for that sale, it’s easy to leave tasks and projects unfinished. Those unfinished household tasks clutter your home and make everything feel even more unfinished. So what? Who cares if your home is messy while you spruce things up?
Last week Grammar for the People: punctuation I was all about end-of-sentence punctuation. Part II is about punctuation that is used in different places throughout writing and will boost your language in a variety of ways.
Several years ago I found some books by Christy Barritt. The first series I read was called Squeaky Clean Mysteries. They are the perfect mix of suspense and hilarity. Barritt has written a handful of other series; her most recent is the Lantern Beach series. These books follow Seattle detective Cady Matthews who is forced off the grid. There is a price on her head from her undercover work. She killed a drug lord. His followers are out for revenge so she has to disappear.
She disappears to a small town in North Carolina where she takes on Cassidy Livingston for a name and owning an ice cream truck for an occupation. Cassidy has a complicated and sad past, one that doesn’t get less so with a new identity or residence. One of the few ties she has to life in Seattle and life before going undercover is a day-at-a-glance calendar from her deceased best friend. When Cassidy needs to bear up her resolve, she takes note of the day’s conventional wisdom and clings to it.
We have determined that it only takes two seconds to capitalize letters at the start of each typed sentence. Adding punctuation to the end of each sentence also only takes two seconds to do. Here are the options you have to perfectly punctuate your writing and reform your lazy ways.
Jacob and I started reading The Saint’s Happiness by Richard Sibbes when we got home from our honeymoon. I was afraid it would be a Puritan tome in archaic English. I was dead wrong. The Saint’s Happiness was a quick read, the English wasn’t so old, and the content was pure gold. I even read it again after we finished.
Considering the book’s title in isolation makes it sound much like a self-help book, a guide to the happiness you desire. You could take it as such, I suppose, but Sibbes knows that God is our only help and the only one who makes the way for happiness. Any happiness is only found in knowing God and being near him.
In the last six weeks, I finished my summer school teaching gig, got married, and moved to Texas. I’ve thought a lot about my former students during this transition, and at the strangest times I think of new and better ways to teach various first-grade skills. This, combined with the great societal need for a renewed understanding of how to use grammar, was the inspiration behind a new series.
Grammar for the People aims to straighten out some of our modern misunderstandings about grammar and help those who want to write correctly, even when no one else bothers to.
It is important to use grammar correctly because it is the set of rules that guides the understanding and interpretation of written language. We are past the “age of technology” excuse for our lazy writing. Technology is now the norm and without anyone heeding the rules of written language, subjectivity is beginning a furious reign.
We need the objectivity of the rules of language to know how to read and understand what words mean in the way they are used within their sentences and paragraphs. This is especially true regarding reading the Bible and guarding the truth. So here goes Grammar for the People: capital letters.