Trout Republic-Punctuate your participles

© 2017-Mineral County Miner

I’m not sure where along the bumpy road of yesteryear we lost good grammar and writing skills, but no one can deny that they have gone AWOL.
Some of that can be attributed to the use of texts on so called “smart phones” which has taken over actually “calling” someone on the device. They have gotten so smart they even spell check for you and so the younger generation does not even attempt to make sure it’s correct before sending it off into la-la land.
Most of us who went to school during the point in history when we often hid under our desks trying to escape death from Cuban nuclear hell, at least, learned to read and write fairly well. This might have been that we had our own personal death threats from Ms. Quazebarth, our fourth grade, teacher if we messed up.
Mrs. Quazebarth and a host of other teachers taught me some very important life lessons that I still carry with me. Like, for instance, the existence of a participle.
A participle is a form of a verb that is used in a sentence to modify a noun, noun phrase, verb, or verb phrase, and plays a role similar to an adjective or adverb. That has nothing at all to do with anything written here today but I always liked the sound of the word so used it in the title.
English class always required us to draw out those silly diagrams with parts of speech on them like some equation seen on the television series The Big Bang Theory.
I never did master that part of English but still ended up with a pretty good idea how to write and punctuate and what I do not know, Miss Trixie takes care of for me.
The lack of proper punctuation in texts and other places does leave a lot to be desired however and can change the meaning of what is intended quite a bit.
Ol’ Dutch was looking online at boats for sale the other day and found a “duck fishing boat” listed. Now I have done more than my share of fishing -- just ask Miss Trixie -- but never in my life have I ever “fished” for ducks and thought I would try. Come to find out, the seller was really saying that the boat could be used for fishing or duck hunting but that’s not what it said.
Spelling, too, has gone the way of the dinosaur so it seems and Ol’ Dutch is guilty as sin when texting. You get a pass in social media and messaging apps because the content of the message is more important than the mechanics involved, plus, I figure that if these fat old fingers get even close to right on that tiny keyboard, I am lucky.
With that said, however, if folks forget to use spell check, we are doomed to complete failure as a people.
Denver Craigslist brought me an ad for “bare hunting” in Colorado. Now Ol’ Dutch is not much of a prude when it comes to naked anything but going out in the bare when bear hunting may be a tad over the line even for him.
Which brings me to the real problem in the English language: homonyms, homophones, homographs and heteronyms. You all are going to have to look those up on Google as there isn’t space enough here to cover them in detail.
Suffices to say, though, that we have words that sound the same but are spelled differently and can totally change the meaning of a sentence. Such words as bear and bare, fair and fare, steel and steal, Sunday and sundae, and of course the very worst ones are their, they’re and there. Those alone can drive a person crazy.
So at the least, if you are going to let some egghead computer programer use autofill to finish your thoughts and sentences at least try and make sure it makes sense.
As for Ol’ Dutch, he always has Miss Trixie to take care of his thinking which saves a lot on my decisions made each day.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.

More In Opinion