We Honestly Don’t Know

October 8th, 2004 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

Kitty Burns Florey (Solos) has scared us. Now, don’t get us wrong, we can obsess over just about anything. We adore structure and logic (please, snickering in the back row is rude). We are the type to look down on a maze and see the path clearly. We get misplaced, but we don’t get lost.

But, dammit, we never did get diagramming sentences. We were too busy racing forward writing them to ever want to go back and dissect them, except to take out entire swaths of words and replace them with more words. Diagramming the poor things? Would you want to wrestle our brain dumps into place? Well, we weren’t so hot on the idea either.

Until we read this lovely essay, an ode really, to the art of diagramming. It (almost) made us wish we’d, back them overcome our prejudices and accepted the practice for what it was: a tool. Perhaps sentence diagramming, like spinach, is something wasted on the youth.

Gertrude Stein, of all people, claimed to be a fan of diagramming. “I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences,” she wrote in the early 1930s. “I like the feeling the everlasting feeling of sentences as they diagram themselves.”

File Under: Square Pegs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Susan Gable // Oct 8, 2004 at 2:39 pm

    I used to love diagraming sentences. Honestly, I think there’s a control issue there. LOL.

  • booksquare // Oct 9, 2004 at 11:17 am

    After reading the article, I felt I understood why one would derive comfort from it…and control? Hey, there’s no shame in control issues.

    yr friend the control freak