Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another grammar experience

About a week ago Trev and I were walking along the seaside trail that stretches between Monterey and Pacific Grove. Just ahead of us were a boy, about 8 years old, and his father, riding bicycles. We caught up to them for just enough time to hear the boy say, "If my name were to be Dave, my name backwards would be Evad." We were both struck by the complex use of the subjunctive in a person so small. Not only was he commenting on the fact that his name was not Dave; he was holding out the possibility, however slight, that it could still happen.

Later we caught up to them again and the boy had somehow gotten his bike wedged against a pillar. Not surprising, given his loftier preoccupations.

(edited to remove crummy analogy)

No comments: