The Importance of Prepositions
Posted August 3, 2016on:
Settle down, class. Let’s talk grammar. Don’t worry. I won’t be asking you to diagram sentences.There will be no test. This is more about prepositions and conjunctions. Prepositions are words that create a relationship between other words in a sentence by linking phrases to the rest of the sentence. Conjunctions connect words, sentences, phrases and clauses.
My links and quotes here are from articles that are not that recent, but are good examples of the importance of such words.
Let’s start with “if”. Last year at a forum, Hillary was asked about Social Security. She gave her normal, detailed ideas that any lefty should love. When she came to the part about raising the retirement age, which she opposes, this is what they fixated on. [bold is mine throughout the post]
If there were a way to do it that would not penalize or punish laborers and factory workers and long-distance truck drivers and people who really are ready for retirement at a much earlier age, I would consider it. But I have yet to find any recommendation that I would think would be suitable.
Oh my. Hillary The Granny and Grampy Starver. There’s even a “but” in there, too. Her critics completely ignored everything else she said and spread those two sentences across the web. Does any one believe there will ever be a recommendation to divide Social Security recipients based on the type of job they held? As if.
Let’s move to “and”. I am, in no way, criticizing this brave mother from Flint, MI. She is considered a whistle blowing hero for the attention she brought to the lead crisis. This is more about the responses I heard and read after this exchange. LeeAnn Walters asked Hillary and Bernie if they would promise to require water systems in the US to remove lead pipes. Hillary’s response:
“We will commit to a priority to change the water systems and we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere.”
While Ms. Walters didn’t like either answer (she has her reasons), she hated Hillary’s more saying: “To tell a Flint resident that we’ll handle this in five years is no different than what the city was telling us and what the state was telling us”. I scanned the comments to see if anyone else noticed the “and” in Hillary’s quote. Apparently not. Even those who were supportive of Hillary missed it. So, Hillary became the Jim Jones of Toddlers.
Now for the “but”. Hillary was asked about the death penalty by a man who was released from Death Row after serving 39 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Hillary had a long, nuanced and admittedly, run-on answer. I’ll break it down. She said she was very uncomfortable with the death penalty and would breathe a sigh of relief if the Supreme Court eliminated it tomorrow. Then she spoke about Timothy McVeigh, 9/11, etc. and said it should be held in reserve for certain types of federal crimes, but only on a limited basis. She caught blowback from both the right and the left on this, who were ignoring the elephant in the room. That is, does anyone think this country will elect a Commander In Chief who takes the death penalty off the table for terrorists and mass murderers? Not gonna happen. But, no matter. The right said she’s soft on crime and the left thinks she’s Hillary The Executioner.
By another definition, prepositions are abstract words that have no concrete meaning. In and of themselves, yes. But, when they are overlooked and/or used to twist the entire narrative of a message, they are powerful. Maybe if we revived the skill of how to diagram a sentence, these teeny, tiny words would be more notable. Is it any wonder our future Madam President feels the need to “guard” her words?
Class dismissed and Open Thread.
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