Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life Sentences #1

I can guarantee you that none of my former students have ever said to me, “Magnuson, I sure would like you to write down a few of your amazing ideas on grammar and sentence structure.” They undoubtedly know I have thoughts on the subject because I about used to go into Scanners-style head-explosion fits in every writing class I taught – usually over stupid, run-of-the-mill mistakes even my graduate students couldn’t avoid making: stuff like don’t put commas betwixt the subject and the predicate; or its is already a goddam possessive pronoun, which means you don’t have to put an apostrophe after it; or if you don’t put the comma in Suck my dick, Sammy, ‘suck my dick’ becomes an adjective implying Sammy has been working in Social Services for quite a long time; and so forth. True, I cussed and threw tantrums in the process of explaining simple grammatical rules that my college students should have learned originally in the fourth grade, and it’s possible my classroom methods might have been off-putting to my weaker, more sensitive pupils, who most certainly desired encouragement in their expensive educations instead of sharp reminders that they didn’t know shit and would never know shit and therefore should save themselves a couple hundred thousand dollars and promptly drop out of college and consider a career in Burger King drive-thru management.

Fuck it. Nobody ever listened.

A few did.

The following feels like an aside after that short, purgative rant, but here is today’s sentence, a classic example of the intransitive, meaning that the independent clause has no object.


This shit sucks.


This (a demonstrative pronoun, a pronoun that points toward a noun) shit (a noun, also the subject of this sentence) sucks (the predicate of the sentence, the verb that completes the independent clause in the same way that mustard completes a Ball Park Frank).

Further analysis:

This shit sucks.


  1. They're is going to be an uprising when I hide the grammer soap box over thier. Maybe its going to be found by someone and they will claim it to be there's.

  2. Their's you're true calling.

  3. My grammar blows ass. Strunk and White's elements of style should be mandatory for who put pencil to paper.


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