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October 31, 2004

Halloween Grammar Lesson

The scariest thing for some of us is Texas grammar. Here, on the night of Halloween and the cusp of the historical defeat of fascism, I offer a simple grammar lesson to my fellow Texans:

Do not use this opening for any sentence: "The reason is because..."

Why? The reason is that it is a faulty construction. See "that" in my previous sentence? It begins a noun clause, one of two choices for what can follow "The reason is..." The other is an adjective, like "weak" or "logical."

So, you can say "The reason is that we were running late" or "The reason is plausible." You can even say "The reason is we were running late" because "that" is understood.

"Because" joins parts of a sentence that can stand as sentences themselves, like "She left him because he cheated on her." Notice the italicized parts could be complete sentences. You can't say just "The reason is" and have it be more than a fragment; therefore, you can't join it to other sentence parts with "because."

For more grammactical guidance, check out everything you always wanted to know about subordinating conjunctions and linking verbs.

People like me are labeled "grammar nazis" on the web, but nobody tells you these things once you're out of school, so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Someone whose says "goo" and "pffft" to all that grammar stuff has new pics

Posted by tat at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2004

Molly October Update

Molly's growing like crazy. Her dexterity and cries are the most significant changes lately. She's developed this high-pitched, um, squeal that mimics fingernails running down a chalkboard perfectly. Yeah, annoying, I know. But it's cute in a human-being-learning-to-communicate kinda way. She amuses herself for long stretches by squealing like this while mother and I try to figure out if she's in pain or happy. Hard to tell sometimes.

She's transferring from hand-to-hand now, which is a big development stage, and anything within reach goes right into the mouth. From our perspective, everything gets evaluated in a binary fashion now: will it fit in the mouth or not? I learned a hard lesson letting her chew on an old birthday card. Before I knew it, she had a corner torn off, tried to swallow it, and couldn't breathe. A quick series of slaps to the back and a finger sweep removed the paper but left me with nightmares for days. I never want to experience that again.

The Early Childhood Initiative evaluator came by to gauge Molly's progress as a premie. All her indicators matched her physical age to her developmental age. In other words, for all intents and purposes, Molly is in step with kids her age, with no deficiencies in development. Yeah, Molly!

New pics

Posted by tat at 09:08 PM | Comments (1)