I can’t tell you how many times someone has approached me on the street and asked, “Bob, what’s so important about grammar?” Actually, I could tell you how many times it’s happened, but that’s a math question. We’re talking about grammar.
Grammar is extremely important in our modern world, especially for me, because I have only 60 words so far, and I need another 500 to get paid for this column.
Suppose you are in a job interview, and your prospective boss commits a grammatical faux pas (technically: foreplay). Should you correct his grammar?
By no means! (De ninguna manera!) People can be extremely sensitive about their grammar, in the same way they are sensitive about their music.
Remember what happened to me on the Seventh Avenue line in 1987, when I asked three young gentlemen going uptown if they could kindly turn down the volume of their boombox?
I’ll never forget it, though I don’t actually remember it. I sort of recall it through a haze.
Many people have problems with obstreperous verbs. And no wonder. The obstreperous verb cannot be declined in the past or future tense. It can only be declined in the present. Your best bet, however, is not to decline it at all, but to accept it.
The obstreperous verb, by definition, is a verb that can function as a noun and a dairy product. For example, “cheese.”
Thus, “Cheese it! Here comes the job interviewer!” is correct, whereas, “Bob is preparing to cheese,” is obstreperous.
The proper locution is: “Bob is about to sleaze on out of here,” or, perhaps better, “What happened to Bob?”
Attorneys are familiar with the interlocutory intromission, a quasi-legal tort, or camaraderie, which has been the base of so much fruitful intercourse, in and out of the courts.
The ruling ruling in interlocutory grammatical intromission is the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Jubider v Obiter (1897), in which the court held, in a split decision, that Obiter dictum.
But that was just an opinion. We’re talking about grammar here, and grammar is based upon facts. For instance: the interfering conjunction.
This is not just a theory, like evolution or climate change or the existence of God. The interfering conjunction is a fact.
Let us look at the interfering conjunction, properly used, in the sentence: “Bob stole my banjo and hocked it, but fuck it, I never learned to play the damn thing anyway.”
Here, the interfering conjunction, “but,” serves to interfere between the independent clause, “Bob stole my banjo,” and the redundant preterite, “I’m going to crush his head like a can of Lite beer.”
We see now why grammar is important, particularly the interfering conjunction.