A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Grammar of Love

I was writing an email in the teacher's room and Paul wandered over and took a peak over my shoulder. He saw as I signed off the note "love sam."

"Teacher!" he said "Love Sam? Like you say to love you? LOVE SAM!" And he threw his arms into the air, imitating my demand.

I laughed.

"No Paul, it's sometimes what you say to end a letter to someone you care about, instead of just saying goodbye."

He still looked confused. I added a comma and hit enter.

"love,
sam"

"I'm sending my love to her. It's like using a comma instead of saying 'love from sam.'"

He looked at me very seriously for a second.

"Teacher, love should never have a period," he said, and paused to whipe his nose on his shirt sleeve, "because then it is like this:" and he made a heart shape over his chest with his two hands and snapped it in two.

That's pretty deep for an 8-year-old.

I imagine the analogy in a harlequin romance novel about a love-lorn olde english typesetter who falls in forbidden love with a Baroness.

"Tempestua my darling, my love shall never be driven into the ground by such harsh punctuation. No periods shall ever stop up the bountiful font of my love for you. Only the purest colon shall be included, in the sub-header, to indicate the beginning of the list of the ways that your gaze is like the setting sun."

"But Heathe! My darling Heathe! You know that our love knows no indentation, and must be smuggled away in the brackets and footnotes of time!"

Okay, that's enough of that. But you get the idea.

3 comments:

Pam said...

Such a clever old sausage!

Peggy said...

Can't wait to see what you do with an ampersand!

Dixie said...

Nicely said!