(Part of an ongoing series detailing our Lost Tools of Writing adventures. Previous posts here.)
Update: Grammar Girl
to the rescue with a down-to-earth article on parallel construction! I
knew I was making it harder than it was. Grammar Girl rocks.
am getting in a little practice myself before my next teaching
attempt. I thought I would try again with the original thesis and
Boromir was not a fit Ringbearer
Frodo was a fit Ringbearer
Wise authorities chose Frodo
I need to fix that last proof so it lines up properly. Grammar Girl
quoted Sesame street: "One of these things is not like the others, one
of these things just doesn't belong..." I got confused looking at
these sentences, but Aravis happened to be nearby. She is insanely good
at grammar. This illustrates both a curse and blessing of
The curse is not knowing enough on some
subjects to "be the teacher". Often, the homeschooling mother ends up
learning along with her students. (When I taught Aravis grammar, the
answer key was my best friend.) The blessing is that by a certain age
their affinities emerge and, never having had their enthusiasm quashed
by institutionalized competition*, they begin passionate independent
studies. Eventually, they are able to help younger siblings in ways the
mother never could. Along the way the younger sibs embrace their own
affinities and *they* start passionate independent studies. Life
becomes a joyous celebration of all the things God placed in the world
for us to know. I love learning.
patiently explained that the first two sentences contain predicate
nominatives-- a predicate that renames the subject. The third sentence
does not. We either have to rename the wise authorities, or make Frodo
the subject and rename him, or add Boromir as the subject and rename
(I should probably have Aravis teach the Elocution portion each time.)
Wise authorities were fit choosers. (yuck)
Wise authorities were fit judges. (hmm)
According to authorities, Boromir was a bad choice. (complicated)
Boromir was a bad choice. (too similar to first proof)
Or maybe we could take the predicate nominatives out of the other two sentences:
Boromir had bad qualities
Frodo had good qualities
Frodo had the confidence of the Council and Fellowship
It still seems like the subjects ought to be the same. Otherwise, how to line them up in a sentence?
should not have tried to take the Ring from Frodo for three reasons.
Boromir had bad qualities, Frodo had good qualities, and Frodo had the
confidence of the Council and Fellowship.
know. It still looks complicated. If we could change the subject of #1
to Frodo, it might work. But that first point is important, and Frodo
has nothing to do with Boromir's bad qualities.
*I am not against competition per se. I think it is a useful tool in the learning toolbox. However, I believe it is wrong to apply it arbitrarily across a system.