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By Tom Disch

Gentle verse and eccentric illustrations make grammar their playground

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Sample text

I'd have your name and wear your clothes, And if I wrote, I'd write your prose, Which would not be like me at all.  Give me a call. Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 He, She, and It Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Thou, Thee, and Thine There was a time--it's long gone now- When thee was you, and you were thou. I've always been myself, a me, But how fondly I remember thee! The whole world now is yours and mine That once, my love, was ours and thine. Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Definite and Indefinite Articles The, which seems the merest particle, In point of fact's a definite article- The word we make more use of every day Than any article except for A.

They would ask each innocent verb Who came in to the employment office How she conceived her role As an employee of Grammar, Inc. Such questions naturally gave one to think, Even if one were an adjective, Living a modestly adjectival life Out in the suburbs To think, that is to say, of what May actually have been meant by saying Stop or Go or Do or Dare. and even each other!! The other parts of speech were aghast. How might they, in plain fairness, resist These steady adverbial encroachments? " And that's how the adverbs were finally, Though not completely, defeated.

Don't lay a guilt trip on me, man. I lead the kind of life I can.  No! In-transitive's the way to go For a peaceful sort of soul like me.  To speak politely or To flout the rule that cannot be Broken with impunity. Grammar's first law and holy writ: Infinitives must not be split, And never ask the reason why. You may be thinking what if I Were on a plane about to crash. Surely it would not be rash To try to safely parachute.  The Institute Of Proper Speech gives not a hoot Whether you perish or you live And won't allow a split infinitive.

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