Sentence diagramming. Man, did I love sentence diagramming. I can almost hear Sister Bernadette, my obese, structuralist 7th grade teacher, coming up with ever-obscurer sentences to slice-and-dice. It is so out of vogue to teach sentence diagramming now. I’m not even sure they teach the parts of speech anymore. This is a shame. Diagramming was like a game, a kind of puzzle where you were forcing organic, fungible elements of language into a Cartesian, controllable structure. Diagramming a sentence was like decompiling a program, with similar messiness. There are tools now, but nothing beats the one-on-one encounter with a hellishly convoluted syntax:

All this … the reader must enter into before he can comprehend the unimaginable horror which these dreams of oriental imagery and mythological tortures impressed upon me.


Never heard of sentence diagramming? I know some people similarly handicapped. Read up at Wikipedia.

One response to “Decompile”

  1. cbjg says :