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A Manner of Speaking Nov/Dec '05

by Bonnie Neugebauer
November/December 2005
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5016688/

Long ago, as a high school English teacher, it was my responsibility to convince 16 year olds that whether a word was a gerund or an infinitive was a matter of great significance. I'm not sure many of them believed me. In years since, though I use all those rules daily as an editor, I seldom think about them — they are just part of me. But recent thinking and conversations remind me that the role a word plays in a sentence or an idea, really does help us make sense of the world.

Consider the word "change." For me this has been a season of changes. Our daughter Amy married her dear Matthew, our son Aaron moved to New Zealand, my Mother broke her hip, we hired three new staff, a hurricane wiped out an American city, the IRA disarmed, Israeli settlements moved from the Gaza Strip, there was an earthquake in Pakistan, and it's autumn. Changes. Change — a noun, a sudden event. Snap your fingers and life as you knew it no longer exists. A new family, an adventure, a new way of doing things, catastrophe, peace. "What will this new day bring?" my Dad wonders.

Changes happen. ...

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