Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Parts of speech

Go ahead, admit it:  Your favorite part of speech is the verb.  Verbs do things, get things done, create conflicts, stir up the rhetorical pot, introduce complications.  May I present trouble?  May I sprinkle a little nuance on your conversation.  Stories begin when verbs collide.

No disrespect intended toward other parts of speech, although many who know you would not seat you next to an adverb at a sit-down dinner party.  You have, on the other hand, forged fond intimacy with many a noun and proper noun.  In fact, stories often originate when nouns collide and proper nouns object.

You pal around with prepositions, some of whom get you into trouble on a regular basis which, for a writer, is a situation to be desired.  Prepositions also get you out of boring situations, another matter of high regard for you.

Adjectives require handling.  Best not to use too many of them in tandem since they have a way of taking over the conversation, diverting attention from the nouns.

Gerunds require management, in particular at those times when they attempt transgerundification, making the switch from "Walking into the room, you felt at home," to "Let's go walking," which of course is no longer a gerund, if you get my drift.

In the same manner as some individuals will slather ketchup all over a steak or hamburger, you have ands, ors, buts, and some--but not all--as's in COSTCO quantity.  True enough, too much ketchup can ruin a hamburger and too many ands, ors, and buts can play havoc with a sentence, but nothing ventured--nothing read.

You are amazed by the frozen foods equivalent of language these days, with friendship cards, condolence letters, and letters to politicians being offered us, allowing us to sign on without examination of the implications of what we have just voted for or against or in support of or opposed to at all costs.

Parts of speech, when put together in some of the stunning ways of potential, are often described as poetry and can be considered transformative. With some thought, practice, and, of course, feeling, poetry may appear anywhere, in narrative, in story, in spoken language.

Parts of speech may be weapons, instruments, tools.  For your part, you like to think of them as levers, dislodging ideas from their resting places.  The sound of them can resonate within you for years, perhaps forever.  They are remarkable enough when you find them making sounds in your mind like water rushing over stones.  You can keep yourself alive and energized with such parts of speech.  And the true joys of them become apparent as well when they are used to describe you and your meaning to another who tells hers to you.

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