A child's garden of grammar by Tom Disch

By Tom Disch

Mild verse and eccentric illustrations make grammar their playground

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Sample text

I love you quite against my grain. You're shy, I'm bold; you're young, I'm old; You're disciplined, I'm uncontrolled. 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.

I love you quite against my grain. You're shy, I'm bold; you're young, I'm old; You're disciplined, I'm uncontrolled. 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.

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? " take off your Walkman and listen to me? "Sorry, Mack, but I don't see A pair of squiggles when you speak.

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