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  • The Noun Game -- a simple grammar lesson leads to a clash of civilizations

Comments Oct 24, 2009 6:47 pm

I remember in school in NY State over 60 years ago learning that Europe and Asia were really one continent-- Eurasia. Going to school in another culture is a valuable experience for students. I remember my furious first grader coming home from school in Bavaria and not taking off his coat before he put a handle on the "Easter Nest" he had made in school.

Reply to at 6:47 pm Dec 10, 2009 4:05 pm

This is ridiculous; what is important is to be able to identify nouns, not to put nouns into buckets as if the "or" of "person, place, or thing" were exclusive. If you're silly enough to distinguish between persons and things then what, grammatically, are corpses? Fetuses? Aborted fetuses? Stem cells? Human tumor cells? Fictional persons?Feh.

Reply to at 4:05 pm May 11, 2010 8:56 pm

Some fictional and religious writing does blur the line between animal/place: Jonah in the fish's belly, the world supported by cosmic turtles, etc. The person/place line also blurs in science fiction, whenever Character A gets shrunk down to explore Character B's body and correct some problem. Granted, your average grade-school English class isn't likely to think of those examples...but the more that come to mind, the more I think that parts of speech should be defined by their _functions_ (What does a noun do in a sentence?) instead of their meanings.

Reply to at 8:56 pm