Book Excerpt
I Before E (Except After C) : Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff
by Judy Parkinson

An excerpt from I Before E (Except After C) : Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff by Judy Parkinson, published 2008 by Reader's Digest Books.
Book excerpt reprinted with the permission of the publisher.
Copyright © 2008 Judy Parkinson

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BOOK EXCERPT

After learning the alphabet, the next step is to devise coherent sentences. The rhyme below categorizes each of the parts of speech, giving a clear example of each grammatical term. The rhyme dates back to 1855 and was written by educators David B. Tower and Benjamin F. Tweed:

A NOUN'S the name of any thing;
As, school or garden, hoop, or swing.

ADJECTIVES tell the kind of noun;
As, great, small pretty, white, or brown.

Three of these words we often see
Called ARTICLES -- a, an, and the.

Instead of nouns the PRONOUNS stand;
John's head, his face, my arm, your hand.

VERBS tell of something being done;
As, read, write, spell, sing, jump, or run.

How things are done the ADVERBS tell;
As, slowly, quickly, ill, or well.

They also tell us where and when;
As, here, and there, and now, and then.

A PREPOSITION stands before
A NOUN; as, in, or through, a door.

CONJUNCTIONS sentences unite;
As, kittens scratch and puppies bite.

The INTERJECTION shows surprise ..........

A different rhyme called "The Parts of Speech" is similarly concise as a reminder of the different components of the English language. The origin of these verses is unknown.

Every name is called a noun,
As field and fountain, street and town.

In place of noun the pronoun stands,
As he and she can clap their hands.

The adjective describes a thing,
As magic wand and bridal ring.

The verb means action, something done --
To read, to write, to jump, to run.

How things are done, the adverbs tell,
As quickly, slowly, badly, well.

The preposition shows relation,
As in the street, or at the station.

Conjunctions join, in many ways,
Sentences, words, or phrase and phrase.

The interjection cries out, "Hark!
I need an exclamation mark!"

Through poetry, we learn how each
Of these make up the Parts of Speech.

What's a Preposition?

To further remember the function of a preposition, insert any word into the following sentence:

The squirrel ran______the tree.

For example, over, under, after, around, through, up, on, to, from, by, and so forth. Other prepositions include in, at, for, between, among, and of.

What's a Conjunction?

Conjunctions are words used to join two independent clauses. Most people are careless with punctuation, especially these days when shortcuts in e-mails and text messages have become commonplace. But this FAN BOYS mnemonic helps if you want to remember the coordinating conjunctions, of which the most important are and, or, and but.

FAN BOYS

For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So

The Rules of Punctuation

Cecil Hartley's poem from Principles of Punctuation or The Art of Pointing (1818) reveals the old-fashioned way that people were advised on how to interpret punctuation when reading sentences out loud.

The stops point out, with truth, the time of pause
A sentence doth require at ev'ry clause.
At ev'ry comma, stop while one you count;
At semicolon, two is the amount;
A colon doth require the time of three;
The period four, as learned men agree.

Though it's not a verse that most grammarians would encourage these days, it does give you an idea of the difference between each type of punctuation mark.

On Commas

A cat has claws at the ends of its paws.
A comma's a pause at the end of a clause.

On Colons

The English teacher and prominent lexicographer H.W. Fowler creates a useful visual image of the job done by the colon, which he says, "delivers the goods that have been invoiced in the preceding words."

On the Exclamation Point

The following anonymously authored seventeenth-century rhyme appeared in Treatise of Stops, Points, or Pauses, and of Notes Which Are Used in Writing and Print (1680):

This stop denotes our Suddain Admiration,
Of what we Read, or Write, or giv Relation,
And is always cal'd an Exclamation.

I Before E (Except After C) : Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff by Judy Parkinson,
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BOOK DESCRIPTION FROM THE PUBLISHER

Hundreds of Memory Tricks You Learned in the Classroom

"Thirty days hath September." How many times have your relied on that old maxim to figure out a calendar?

Or how about "Every Good Boy Does Fine" to remember the notes on the treble clef?

These ingenious, practical memory techniques abound in I Before E (Except After C) with its hundreds of curious sayings. In this clever -- and often hilarious -- collection, you'll find engaging mnemonics, arranged in easy-to-find categories that include:

* Geographically Speaking

* Time and the Calendar

* Think of a Number

* The Sky at Night and by Day

Guarenteed to amuse and inform, this little book is a perfect gift for students of all ages.

I Before E (Except After C) : Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff by Judy Parkinson,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judy Parkinson is a graduate of Bristol University in England. She is a producer of documentaries, music videos, and commercials, as well as the recipient of a Clio Award for a Greenpeace Advertisement. Parkinson has published four books and has contributed to a show of life drawings at the Salon des Arts, Kensington. She resides in London.

I Before E (Except After C) : Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff by Judy Parkinson,
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BOOK REVIEWS

"Parkinson's book is a welcome throwback, an indispensible guide that can be used for general knowledge revision, or whenever that simple nugget of information proves elusive."

-- The Good Book Guide

"Remember all those awesome acronyms and nifty mnemonics you learned in school, to stop stuff going in one ear and out the other? No? Well, never mind -- a new book called i before e (except after c) is here to re-educate the educated."

-- The Sun

I Before E (Except After C) : Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff by Judy Parkinson,
PLEASE CLICK HERE for BOOK PRICE and SHIPPING INFORMATION