Friday, February 29, 2008

Blackboard Memories

As a grade school student in the 50's, my favorite assignment was diagramming sentences. Perhaps it was my left-brained tendencies that made the tidy, structured division of sentences so appealing. Remember those neat diagonal prepositional phrases? And what about those gerunds slithering down the stairs? So I was delighted when a friend gave me Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog. Author Kitty Burns Florey, a veteran copywriter who honed her diagramming skills in Sister Bernadette's sixth grade class, shares my passion (as well as my Catholic school experience), and offers diagramming examples taken from such diverse authors as Hemingway (a good choice for beginners) to Henry James (a black diamond course for experts only). Florey's enthusiasm for diagramming is contagious, and she offers an amusing look back at its origins as well. For more than you'll ever need to know on this subject, you might also want to check out

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