Did you know that the computers of the C.I.A. use some form of sentence diagramming in order to sort through emails and the like?
The really cool artwork below is a 2007 installation at the Steven Wolf Fine Arts Gallery of Nicholas Knight’s Sentences:
I’ve been playing with sentence diagramming the last few months. It’s even more fun than Sudoku. Now, instead of doing a couple Sudokus at bedtime, I diagram a couple sentences. There’s even a program that will let you diagram sentences: SenDraw
I did not understand grammar when it was explained to me. I got A’s, but I truly didn’t understand it until I took German.
Now I can’t get enough of sentence diagramming. It’s beautiful! I had no idea how cool it was!
And I’m really not crazy! Gertrude Stein said:
"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. I like the feeling the everlasting feeling of sentences as they diagram themselves."
She wrote like she was diagramming a sentence, LOL! Once you get the whole diagramming-sentence obsession, her prose makes a little more sense.
Y’all know how passionate I can get about punctuation. It’s so beautiful! It can say so much! It can also do much damage, LOL. I am not real fond of comma-ridden prose.
Stein hates commas passionately. I wish she were just a little more fond of them, LOL. Even I have a nagging desire to insert commas in her prose!
Commas are servile and have no life of their own... what does a comma do, a comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma.
She uses them instead of question marks, though, because she hates them even more! She says the question mark looks like "a brand on cattle."
I’m never going to get that image out of my head!
But she was passionate about grammar, and I think that's cool. Grammar and punctuation are all part of the beauty that is the written word.
So how do you feel about punctuation? Grammar? Diagramming sentences? Ever think a question mark looks odd? And what do you think Stein would think of the way we use punctuation today? :-) ;-) :-p