Sunday, September 23, 2012

Still Learning

There is a new cellmate in the cell next to ours. He is from Mexico, SO it is not easy to understand him. As we conversed in the lunch hall I tried to speak English, AND G tried to speak spanish (he doesn’t know spanish). Needless to say the man thought we were morons. He did not want to talk, NOR sit anywhere near us because of our awkward introductions.

G said that Spanish was harder than he thought, “You think?” I said sarcastically. G said that there is a lot to the english language I didn’t even know about. He asked if I knew what AAAWWUBBIS stands for, BUT I thought he was just speaking gibberish to me like he did the new guy. G explained that this was an acronym for a list of subordinating conjunctions.

An example sentence he used to explain this was, “AFTER THE FIGHT WAS OVER, WE CONTINUED TO EAT OUR LUNCH.” Without everything after the comma in the example sentence, the statement does not express a complete thought. This depends on something else tacked on after the comma to make sense. ALTHOUGH THIS WAS FAIRLY COMPLICATED, I WAS STILL ABLE TO FOLLOW ALONG AND UNDERSTAND WHAT G WAS TRYING TO SAY. I thought I had a chance to really get a grasp of this concept, FOR I had finished all of G’s worksheets  with decent success.

I woke up the next morning to G screaming in the night, OR at least I thought he was sleeping. When asked why he was screaming so loud, G replied that he had a bad dream about me writing faulty parallelisms. Faulty parallelisms, that is what you woke me up for? I wanted to kill him, YET I was also intrigued to what faulty parallelisms were. “Oh gosh Stew, they are the worst,” he said. G explained that this is a balance of two or more similar words, phrases, or clauses.

An example that G gave me was, “The girl likes to paint and writing poetry.” The two phrases do not have parallel structure, thus they create a faulty parallelism. “The girl likes painting and writing poetry” is the correct sentence structure of parallelism. WHEN G’S STUDY SESSION WAS OVER, I KNEW THAT MY GROWTH IN WRITING WAS MAKING HUGE STRIDES.

Even though I am still learning a lot of new information in the world of grammar and punctuation, I know there is a lot more I can gain from G’s teaching methods. Man, and to think I wanted to trade cellies on our first day together.


  1. Poor G! Learning Spanish is a really hard task to accomplish. His lessons are proving useful to Stew; he is definitely having his horizons broadened.

    I counted out all the FANBOYS conjunction words and also the AAAWWWUBBIS phrases; however, I thought they went after the comma. As in, "I like cats, although I like dogs as well." I could be wrong but that was my understanding of the AAAWWUBBIS phrases.

    Overall great blog. As you can see I really enjoy reading this one!

  2. Writing a story around what we do in class is a lot more fun! According to the research I have done online, the way you do a complex sentence using AAAWWUBBIS is: AAAWWUBBIS + Comma + Simple Sentence = Complex Sentence
    So for your sentence it should go, "Although I like cats, I like dogs as well." Hopefully Barbara can clue us in here a little more on the specifications in her reply. Thanks for reading though!

  3. I believe Kellen is right that the AAAWWUBBIS term goes first in order to create a complex sentence. However, Rebecca's sentence seems to be just fine so I will be interested to see what Barbara says about these terms and whether they have to come at the beginning of the sentence or not. This is a very creative way to do your blog Kellen, I may just have to use this same kind of idea. Telling a story along with the blog allows you to write more, but you can still incorporate the weekly pattern. I never knew inmates were so interested in grammar, and complex grammar at that. Your background almost looks like a psychiatric prison, so I like to think that grammar has made these men go insane and they are to spend the rest of their days discussing and pondering grammar, never to fully understand its complexities and going crazier and crazier each day. Very good blog and I look forward to what we will discuss tomorrow in class.

  4. So, this was my first time reading your blog and I must say I am very impressed. I absolutely love how you made this into a story that you continue on each week. Very creative. You incorporated everything we went over last week perfectly into this blog to where I felt as if I was even learning something from it. And, I believe you are right about the AAAWWUBBIS sentence in your comment...or at least I think you did them correctly in your blog. I don't think there always needs to be a comma after the AAAWWUBBIS, I just think it depends on the structure of the sentence. Overall, great blog. I enjoyed reading it.

  5. okay to settle the debate: an AAAWWUUBBIS can occur anywhere, including in the middle of a sentence, if it's set off from the rest, like I just did with this sentence I'm writing right now. I've encouraging the class to use them at the opening position largely for the sake of creating a new rhythm. Remind me to talk more about this in class.

    Just a few sentences I wanted to point out to you, Kellen, with different punctuation.
    He did not want to talk, NOR sit anywhere near us because of our awkward introductions. = no comma before this FANBOYS in this instance because it's not joining two sentences; it's just compounding the verbs: TALK and SIT.

    G said that Spanish was harder than he thought, “You think?” I said sarcastically. == comma splice.

    “Oh gosh Stew, they are the worst,” he said == STEW is a direct address, right? so comma after the interjection OH GOSH, and then a comma after STEW (which is what you have). STEW is a kind of interruptor here.

    The two phrases do not have parallel structure, thus they create a faulty parallelism. ==Uh-oh: THUS isn't a FANBOYS

    Thanks for reading though! ==uh-oh. remember the thingie about THOUGH? needs a comma. It's an interruptor here, not a subordinating conjunction.

    Great fun, Kellen! Looks like you have everybody reading your blog!