Just in case you’re feeling weary with all the grammar work your kids have to do in school, let me just remind you that grammar is important. Really, really important. Without it, you might just say something you didn’t mean to say.
True Story: My 4-year-old daughter (Pickle-Mickle here on the blog) and I read a Bible story together every night before she goes to bed. Once she learned to read, she began insisting that she read the story to me. That’s fine with me. It gives her good reading practice — except that sometimes things go a little bit wrong.
Like last night, for instance. Last night we were reading the story of how an angel appeared to Zachariah and told him about the son they would soon have. I was helping Pickle-Mickle with the hard words — like Zachariah and incense and Gabriel. Those are pretty hard words when you’re 4. Once we went over the big words, she began to read the story.
What she was supposed to read was, “A priest named Zachariah went to God’s house to burn an incense offering. As soon as he was inside, the angel Gabriel appeared…”
But Pickle-Mickle does’t understand much about commas yet, so she has a tendency to just ignore them. This is how she actually read it, “A priest named Zachariah went to God’s house to burn an incense offering. As soon as he was inside the angel…. (shocked look) WHAT!?! Zachariah was inside the angel!?!”
Those commas are important. Without that little comma, the story turned from Zachariah going into the Holy of Holies into the story of an angel swallowing a man whole. And you thought the story of Jonah was weird.
Sigh…now I’m dusting off our grammar books and trying to straighten out my 4-year-old’s damaged theology…
Have a great day!