As we drove between Crainlarich and Callendar today, my father began pondering road signs. He’d been fretting at it for a while before he spoke. He couldn’t decide whether to be bothered by how often the word SLOW was painted across the road when he thought is should say SLOWLY, or to accept that the cost of all those Ls and Ys would have been a terrible waste of public funds.
Which led to a debate on how the word SLOW functions in that context. I’d aways assumed it was an abbreviated form of an imperative phrase (SLOW DOWN). He agreed, but thought the phrase was GO SLOWLY.
Before I could even touch the brake, we found ourselves caught in grammatical knots. Just how does one parse SLOW DOWN? Is slow really a verb?
But if you think that’s too easy, gold stars to the person who best parses or diagrams this sentence (but no prizes for those who guess Dad is from Tennessee):
Y’all slow down now, y’hear?
JPEG, Word or Publisher diagrams can be offered by email by those who have both the grammatical and technological savy to do so.
This is another Hermione Granger moment, isn’t it?