Parsing, a la Dickens

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Sep 7 09:23:43 EDT 2001


A propos of nothing in particular, I thought list-members might find
amusing this Dickens caricature of a parsing exercise by Wackford Squeers,
the somewhat dubious "Yorkshire schoolmaster" of CD's _Nicholas Nickleby_,
which I recently re-read:

"Ah! It's me, and me's the first person singular, nominative case, agreeing
with the verb 'it's,' and governed by Squeers understood, as a acorn, a
hour; but when the h is sounded, the a only is to be used, as a hand, a
heart, a highway," replied Mr. Squeers, quoting at random from the grammar,
"at least, if it isn't, you don't know any better, and if it is, I've done
it accidentally."
-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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