A child's garden of grammar by Tom Disch

By Tom Disch

Mild verse and kooky illustrations make grammar their playground

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Example text

You're cold, I'm hot; I seek, you're sought; You're what I lack, I'm what you've got. You're everything that I am not. Page 50 Homophones Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Homonyms Letter for letter, we're just the same- And yet we're not the same at all, For one might be mailed to addressee's name While the other is nailed to a wall. Page 54 Page 55 Like and As As I was saying the other day, Like is like As in a certain way, And, likewise, necessarily, I think it is quite plain to see That As has a likeness to Like, Much as Pat resembles Mike, Although grammatically they are Entirely dissimilar, For Like links things like love and roses, While the use of As supposes Two processes have been compared, Like gardening and having cared For someone in a nursing home By reading her some lovely poem While she nods her head and sews.

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. Page 62 Page 63 Quotation Marks I said "I'm sorry: what'd you say?

Page 20 Either and or Came to a Door. Page 21 Either/Or Either and Or came to a door. Either would enter, but not before Or, So still they stand outside that door, But now their names are Neither and Nor. Page 22 A Wagging Tail Will Earn a Pat. Page 23 If/Then If/Then is a wonderful machine. If you use soap, then you'll be clean. If you do this, I'll give you that. A wagging tail will earn a pat. Page 24 His Life's a Die That's Never Thrown, Page 25 Maybe Maybe works another way: Maybe might come out and play But maybe not, he cannot say.

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