Easy Come….

….Easy go.

My grammar class – the one that was to run in the afternoon, conveniently between when the girls get home from school and when Mr. Chili normally arrives home from work – was cancelled the other day. There weren’t enough students enrolled in the section to keep it open.

I’m disappointed, but not so much as I expected I’d be. It was going to be damned inconvenient to have to find kid-care for the mini-Chilis twice a week, despite O’Mama‘s VERY generous offer to take them home with her. One of the things I love most about my job is that, up to (and, I guess, including) now, it hasn’t interfered with my primary role as mommy.

Still, I was really looking forward to the class, if for no other reason than my first grammar class gave me LOTS of good stories to tell – why would this one be any different? – and I’m sure it would have been a gold mine for Grammar Wednesday topics…

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8 Comments

Filed under General Griping, little bits of nothingness

8 responses to “Easy Come….

  1. Awwww!!! And we all know how much you LOVE teaching grammar!

    Oh well…..just make sure you remember how much you wanted to be with your Mini-Chilis the next time they’re making you bonkers. (Not that us children ever, Ever, EVER do that!!!! Parents would have it so much easier if they weren’t so freaking UNREASONABLE!! Ha ha ha ha.)

  2. Speaking of grammar: Do you have any idea what the function of “don’t” is in the sentence “I don’t want a new car”? It’s important. The universe needs to know…

  3. Your sentence is “I don’t want a new car.”

    Expanding it out, it would read “I do not want a new car.”

    I is the subject of the sentence
    do is a helping or linking verb
    not is an adverb (modifying want)*
    want is a verb
    a is an article
    new is an adjective
    car is a noun.

    *I’m not 100% sure that’s 100% correct, but I can’t think of what else it could be.

  4. grammar is so undervalued. my grandmother used to make it a point of pride to correct my english when i was growing up. i really miss her affectionate pickiness.

  5. Sorry Mrs. Chili, this may be another long one.
    If I can counter from a linguist’s point of view:
    In “I don’t want a new car”, the semantic head of the sentence is ‘want’, but due to the constraints of English syntax, it is divorced from the syntactic head, which is ‘do-not’, comprising a dummy verb ‘do’ and what we call its specifier, ‘not’.

    In the good old days when verb-specifier inversion ran rife, you’d just say “I want not that car”, but we can only do this with auxiliary verbs, ‘be’ and ‘have’. So you say ‘I am tall’ and ‘I am not tall’ but never ‘I do not be tall’. This same thing goes for subject-verb inversion for question-marking ‘Am I tall?” but “Do I want a new car?”.

    I am getting so far off topic. This is really only helpful for serious syntactic analysis. As far as simply analysing the function, calling it an adverb is fine, but there would be debate as to whether it modifies ‘want’ or ‘do’. I’d say, similar to the above, that it modifies ‘do’ as the syntactic head, and then the whole chunk ‘do-not’ then modifies/specifies ‘want’.

  6. Janari, I think you’re right about which verb “not” modifies – it goes far better with “do” than “want.”

    I am not a linguist (and never claimed to be) so you all have to understand that the grammatical and syntactic advice I give is based on the training I received as a high school English teacher. I’ve got tons (okay – maybe not tons, but certainly pounds) of grammar books that I refer to, and I’m still learning as I go.

    Notice the blog title? It says “A Teachers Education.” I don’t know it all – not even close – and I’m always excited to learn something new. Part of what I truly love about blogging – and one of the main reasons I started doing this in the first place – is that it provides a forum for all kinds of people with all kinds of different skills and expereinces to share what they know. What I’m saying here is that I want people to chime in with questions AND answers. I want to be corrected when I’m wrong – and even when I’m not-quite-right. I’m in this lifetime to learn all I can, and this is one of the avenues from which I hope to do some of that learning.

  7. claudia

    So would one be correct in assuming,after Janari’s comment, that she still does not want a car?

  8. You mean ‘wants she not a car?’

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