Diagramming Sentences

I’ve hated mathematics since high school Algebra 2. Really, imaginary numbers? Isn’t “X” and “Y” imaginary enough for anyone? What the hell kind of torture is that? Sheesh.

Recently though, I went back to school to finish my bachelors. I’m studying management but I actually want to be a book editor. I’m already competent in English and grammar so I thought it’d help me develop a well-rounded skill set if I can learn business and management. Plus, if I can’t get into editing right away, I can easily go manage an office somewhere. Win-win situation, right? Anyway, I digress.

I’m taking math courses right now. It’s quite painful. Thankfully, I have an awesome instructor who is really committed to helping everyone get this stuff down. Yesterday, he said something interesting. He said that the study of mathematics relates to everything because at the core of everything people are trying to find confluence and intersection. Basically, we all use mathematical concepts (number related or not) to find meaning in life.

Well played, sir. It’s as good a reason as any to care that X number with a 0 exponent always equals 1.

In honor of a reasonable explanation as to why I should care about mathematics further than the need to count money or follow a recipe, I bring to you, dear reader, the intersection of English and mathematics: Diagramming sentences.

The point of this exercise is to dissect a sentence and make sure all the parts work together. The cool part is that once you have done it, you can play around with the pieces of the sentence like a puzzle. Personally, I find it to be one more helpful way to separate myself emotionally from what I am writing if I shift my thoughts into pure language analysis mode. I suggest giving it a try if you like to write. If you don’t like it or don’t get it, no problem. This is simply another tool available for use in the quest to write something awesome (and get people to read it).  🙂

A powerpoint presentation by Capitol Community College Foundation explains the idea far better than I can. It’s a little long but it does have some good examples.

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ppt/diagrams.pps <—– you can find it here

I hope it helps! As for me, I have to go figure out how to find the equation of a line.

Image image courtesy of http://www.helpmecomputers.com.


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