Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grammar Boys.

I had a very positive college experience. However, one professor was a struggle. The only thing I ever learned from her was the a doctorate degree couldn't guarantee intelligence, but it could guarantee tenure. I don't mean to sound cruel, but it was really that bad.

Once, after giving a presentation that I had carefully planned for, this professor singled me out to go on a diatribe about grammar. Apparently I had misspoken and had failed to use an adverb during my presentation. Although I can't remember the exact context, I imagine that I said something along the lines of, "After rigorous intervention in phonetical awareness, the student continued to perform poor on benchmark exams."

This omission dropped my score an entire letter grade. The professor pointed out that correct adverb use was being lost in schools and  speaking language. Who knew? Perhaps out of pride or resentment, after that presentation I went on an adverb extravaganza, using adverbs whenever I could, and then teaching my children, from their first words, correct adverb usage.

Maybe my professor taught me something after all? Hum...jury's still out.

"Mom, I hurt my leg bad."

"Dad, you did that awesome!"

"Mal, you sang pretty."

This morning my two year old had a tummy ache. He crawled on my lap and wrapped his arms around me. Then he pointed to his tummy and said, "It hurts so badly."

Maybe adverb use isn't becoming obsolete after all. ;-)


Erin said...

How about incorrect adverb use in board books? One of our favorite Elmo books has an error. I always say it correctly, not as it is written. Justin reads it as is. Each time I over hear him reading it my ears burn...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree with with the both of you so much! This is the reason I NEVER read Winnie the Pooh or Sesame Street to my children when they were very young...Mal, I am so excited for your arrival:) Mimi

Abby said...

Bahaha!! You all crack me up. My poor kids get mixed messages, though, as my husband tells them to "Sleep good!" and I swear he doesn't know adverbs exist (engineering brain.. not so much a grammar pro)... it's a struggle, but I am a woman on a mission. :)

How rude of your instructor to drop you a whole letter grade just to make a point! Sure, it made an impression, but her personal vendetta shouldn't be your demise. Oh well... you obviously turned out okay. ;)

Tomorrow is October! Move month! YESSSSS!!!!!

Mallory said...

Ha ha! I have yet to find any grammatical errors in our kids' books, however, I am torn about what I keep reading in my books. Hum...anyone care to win on "More Important," or "More Importantly..." Quite the controversy.

I totally get different people having different quirks. My little Paul wakes up most mornings and tells me, "Mommy, I slept well," but then this week Mark had to totally correct what I had been teaching Luke ALL week. I gave Luke a wrong...VERY WRONG definition of perpendicular lines. Seriously. And I thought I was teaching him something useful. We all have our strengths...and weaknesses ;-) .

Erin said...

Do you have any children's books that try to be gender neutral with a baby, but end up referring to the baby as "it"?

The one I'm confused on is using "that" referring to a person. I would say it should be "who", but songs and books so frequently use "that". I have Googled it, some say "that" is okay. I am not fully convinced.

Mallory said...

I don't really know! When I was in college, we had to write papers using the APA format(American Psychological Association). I remember VIVIDLY because when we wrote about students we ALWAYS had to write as "he or she," and never "They," "it," or "that." I guess that was because it was more descriptive? (For the record, I don't think it's proper to ever use "that" in place of a pronoun. Right? It should be whom, right????)

I like it when books just pick a gender and stick with it, like pregnancy books that refer to mom as "she" and baby as "he" just to keep them straight. I'll take "he" over "it" any day!

Mallory said...

Also, don't you love that scene in The Office when they go back and forth on how to use "who" and "whom." One of my favorites.