Tag Archives: sentence diagram

Monday Night Special #13: Delving in With Diagrams (to Merry Christmas, Darling)

17 Dec

The Christmas radio station in Wichita starts playing holiday music in mid-November, so I’ve been pretty inundated for over a month.  It’s time to let that seep through in the Monday Night Special.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters

Quick Synopsis:

A gal looks around at her decked-out-for-Christmas house, and, while she finds it acceptable, she wishes she were with her love.

Important Quotation:

Holidays are joyful;
There’s always something new,
But every day’s a holiday
When I’m near to you.

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Monday Night Special #8: Delving in with Diagrams (to Frankenstein)

8 Oct

With what great horror I ascertained the earth had again gone ’round its axis seven more times; and with what great consternation my mind concluded it was again time for the processes with which I penetrated the grammatical world to again exert themselves.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Quick Synopsis:

Victor Frankenstein decides to create a man out of spare parts and alchemy, but this blows up in his face as the man he created wants to be recognized as a person.  A lot of drama and chases and philosophy ensue, and the Frankenstein and his creation end up chasing each other around the North Pole for the rest of their (un)natural lives.

Important Quotation:

My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash.

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Monday Night Special #7: Delving in with Diagrams (to Battlestar Galactica)

2 Oct

Sentence diagramming was created by man.  It evolved.  It rebelled.  And it has a plan to take over our Monday nights.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

Battlestar Galacticaum, spoiler alert through season 4 except for the final three episodes, which I haven’t watched yet

Quick Synopsis:

Humanity lives on 12 planet colonies in the far reaches of the galaxy.  They have created sentient robots–Cylons–who have rebelled.  After 40 years of peace, the Cylons re-emerge sporting human-like bodies and nuclear weapons.  They bomb humanity, and a very small space-faring group of people on several spaceships survive and run, trying to find Earth, which is the fabled location of the 13th colony of man.

A bunch of other drama happens–including an alliance with a rebel faction of Cylons–by the time we get to season 4’s “Blood on the Scales,” in which Vice President Tom Zarek–an ex-con and idealistic-ish manipulative scumbag–has engineered a mutiny.  He’s killed all the members of the democratic governing body except for the president and her aide, and he has plenty of the soldiers on Galactica as well as a bunch of the rest of the fleet on his side.

He’s forced President Laura Roslin–who has never been elected president, only appointed a million times because she’s ruthless yet the best person for the job–into hiding aboard the Cylon baseship, and they are about to blow each other up.  Laura Roslin then says

Important Quotation:

I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eyeteeth to end you.

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Monday Night Special #6: Delving in with Diagrams (to When I Am Through with You)

24 Sep

I know what you’re thinking:  You don’t need me anymore, and you certainly don’t want me.  But, let me remind you that I made you sign the back of a business card swearing you’d been warned that grammar nerdiness lay ahead.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

When I Am Through with You” (AKA the Damages theme song) by VLA

The first disc of Damages Season 4 taunts me from atop my XBox, tantalizing me, daring me to watch it.  But I’m watching it with a friend whose busy schedule prevents her from coming over posthaste.  So, while I eagerly await her call, I will do some diagramming and analysis.

Quick Synopsis:

In the chorus, a  narrator addresses someone he calls “Little Lamb” and warns her over and over again that when their relationship is over, there will be nothing left of her original personality (or something).

In verse one (which I did not know existed until I looked up the song for this week’s entry), the narrator addresses a daisy–a metaphor for perhaps the naive lady to whom the chorus refers–with the same admonition and claims he will tear her out of the ground (even though she’s hiding) and “pluck you right in half.”

In verse two (which I again did not know existed), the narrator flashes back to when he packed his bags and went to the city because he believes “a body at rest / Is a life in hell.”  He then takes up romantically with a woman who calls him “Little Lamb.”

It is suggested that the last iteration of the chorus is this woman singing to him that when she completes her work in him, there won’t be anything left of him.

Important Quotation:

When I am through with you,
There won’t be anything left.

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Monday Night Special #5: Delving in with Diagrams (to Because I could not stop for Death)

19 Sep

I finished late–with my blog.
The stillness in the air
Was like the stillness in the room
Between heaves of a loaded gun.
If you were coming on a Monday
I’d brush the weekend by–
But I didn’t, so here’s this Monday Night Special on a Wednesday afternoon.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

Because I could not stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson (This website has a very attractively punctuated version and some analysis.  Don’t worry: I didn’t plagiarize the analysis too much.)

I probably wouldn’t have picked this poem–not because I don’t like it or Dickinson, and certainly not because Captain Janeway made a recording of it–because it doesn’t contain that much fun grammar stuff.  However, I was talking to Tish about what I should do for my next Monday Night Special, and she requested I do this poem because she really likes it, and I not only wanted to please her, but I also didn’t have any better ideas.

Quick Synopsis:

A lady thinks she’s too busy to die, so a personification of death as a  gentleman with a carriage picks the lady up and takes her metaphorically past scenes of her life and drops her off at her grave.

Important Quotation:

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

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Monday Night Special #4: Delving in with Diagrams (to Somebody Told Me)

10 Sep

It’s not confidential:  Tonight’s the night I’ve got potential to bore you clean to death with my diagramming and analysis of a pop song from 2004.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

“Somebody Told Me” by The Killers

Quick Synopsis:

Up for debate, I suppose.  A dude’s in a club, chatting up a girl–“breakin’ my back just to know your name” suggests he does not have a previous attachment to her, and the dance beat suggests a club situation–and he realizes he’s heard a rumor about her previous romantic partner, who had been a gentleman who looked like a lady the original dude had previously dated.  This dude wants to take the girl home with him–“Ready? Let’s roll onto something new / Takin’ its toll, and I’m leavin’ without you” expresses his desire to move past the “seventeen tracks” played so far at the club as well as his regret that he’ll probably go home alone.

The rumor has effectively “ruin[ed] my moonlight,” and he knows that “heaven ain’t close in a place like this.”  Thus, his romantic goals for the night have been thwarted.

Important Quotation:

Somebody told me
You had a boyfriend
Who looked like a girlfriend
That I had in February of last year.

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Monday Night Special #3: Delving in with Diagrams (to Pride and Prejudice)

3 Sep

Dearest Reader,

I forthwith submit for your kindly eyes–I hope, at least, they will look kindly upon this most base preoccupation of mine–the following application of certain processes to which I am sure you have become quite accustomed.  Indeed, our standing agreement to meet at this time each seven-day may be satisfied only in such a manner.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen via 1995 BBC miniseries, which I watched with a middle-aged church lady friend from 9am-2pm on a Tuesday because neither of us work.  The perks of having middle-aged lady friends and being unemployed:  As Twitter would say, the limit does not exist.

I must admit this was my first foray into Austen’s cinematic world.  I’ve never read the book, either, and in fact the only Austen I’ve ever read is Emma for a clunkily titled college course called something to the effect of Periods of British Literature:  19th Century Women’s British Literature. In a discussion with the professor before the class had started, I revealed to her that I’d never read any Austen, and this exchange happened:

Professor:  So, you’re a Jane Austen virgin?
Me:  I’ve never even gotten to first base with Jane Austen.  Haven’t seen the movies or anything.

Because I am the kind of prude who chooses to only intermittently trade provocative witticisms with my professors, I will not continue with this metaphor, but I will say that I am still not very experienced with Jane Austen, but I am at least familiar enough with her to be very intrigued by the concepts she brings up in her novels although my proclivities run toward the Bronte end of the spectrum–especially Anne, if we’re talking women’s roles in society.

Quick Synopsis:

Elizabeth Bennett, the second of five daughters born to a middle-class Edwardian British family, snarks her way through life and eventually falls in love with Mr. Darcy, whom she had initially believed to be an insufferable bore/cad.  Various and sundry other things happen, including Mr. Darcy being kind of chased by his BFF’s bitchy sister, his BFF falling in love with Elizabeth’s older sister, Elizabeth’s youngest sister kind of being a slut and Mr. Darcy having to force a dude to marry her to save her reputation, a pretentious clergyman cousin (who will inherit the Bennett estate) trying to get all up in Elizabeth’s grill but then marrying one of her friends who is more business-oriented than romance-oriented.

Amid all this, we have plenty of class conflict and ruminations on love, marriage, companionship, respect, appearances, pride, and prejudice.  Duh.

Important Quotation:

They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation, and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.

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Monday Night Special #2: Delving in with Diagrams (to Linda on My Mind)

27 Aug

Hello, darlin’!  It’s time again for some needless analysis and some extraneous diagrams.  Slip into your tight-fittin’ jeans (although I know you’ve never been this far before), and I’ll be your blogger with the slow hand.  If you get frightened, remember:  It’s only make believe…

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

(Lyin’ Here with) Linda on My Mind” by Conway Twitty

Quick Synopsis:

A dude lies in bed beside his lady, but he’s thinking of another lady (Linda).  He hadn’t meant to cheat–physically or emotionally–but Linda danced with him, squeezed his hand, and confessed her secret love for him.  Now, he’s lying in bed processing this information, deciding he will, indeed, leave his old lady for Linda.

Important Quotation:

Now I’m lying here with Linda on my mind,
And next to me, my soon-to-be, the one I left behind,
And, Lord, it’s killing me to see her crying;
She knows I’m lying here beside her with Linda on my mind.

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Monday Night Special #1: Delving in with Diagrams (to Poe’s Ligeia)

20 Aug

Because my blog is currently super lame and disjointed, I thought it might be prudent to add a regular feature that might lend an air of organization and credibility to my rather mishmashed efforts at snark and substance.

So, I’ve decided to try something I could potentially knock out at regular intervals that would be fun and not-too-difficultly achieved.  I could’ve done movie reviews, but that’s even lamer than my usual efforts.  I could’ve done more recaps, but Damages season 4 isn’t on Instant Queue yet, and all of my other programs would be too much of a commitment (7 20-episode seasons of Voyager.  Yowza.).

So, I’ve decided on something slightly nerdier, which I came up with because I like to pull out my Tales of Mystery and Imagination and diagram meaty, meandering sentences when I’m bored.

Here’s how this will go down:

I will

  • arbitrarily pick some work of fiction–which could be a story, book, poem, song, TV show, movie, whatevs
  • give a quick synopsis
  • find an important quotation and explain its significance
  • diagram the sentence
  • tell why the structure of the sentence fits with the theme or whatever of the work

Let’s begin.

Arbitrarily Picked Work of Fiction:

“Ligeia” by Edgar Allan Poe, from which all quotations will come and for which the full text may be accessed here.

Quick Synopsis:

An unnamed, opium-addicted narrator tells us of his lost love Lenore Ligeia, who was a tall, dark, Hebrew-looking, ultra-intelligent lady who believed that death could be conquered through force of will.  She also had been obsessively, idolatrously in love with the narrator, as he was with her.  Well, she dies, and he sinks into opium-addled grief and marries a little blonde girl who wants him for his money.  He buys a lavish abbey, in which her bridal suite is creepily furnished with sarcophagi and The Yellow Wallpaper bizarre curtains  that look different in different lighting.  Second wife falls ill and dies.  He stays by her bedside and thinks he hears her stirring.  Some back and forth happens in which he tries to revive her and fails a million times.  Finally, she gets up, and she’s no longer Blondie but Ligeia!!!

Important Quotation:

With how vast a triumph—with how vivid a delight—with how much of all that is ethereal in hope—did I feel, as she bent over me in studies but little sought—but less known—that delicious vista by slow degrees expanding before me, down whose long, gorgeous, and all untrodden path, I might at length pass onward to the goal of a wisdom too divinely precious not to be forbidden!

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