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Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech

Jim Dixon 12 Apr 12 - 12:47 PM
Acme 12 Apr 12 - 01:43 PM
GUEST 12 Apr 12 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Donal 12 Apr 12 - 10:08 PM
Acme 13 Apr 12 - 12:10 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Apr 12 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,Donal 13 Apr 12 - 03:43 AM
WindhoverWeaver 13 Apr 12 - 04:27 AM
IanC 13 Apr 12 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Donal 13 Apr 12 - 08:32 AM
Nigel Parsons 13 Apr 12 - 08:58 AM
Nancy King 13 Apr 12 - 09:22 AM
Ringer 13 Apr 12 - 10:31 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Apr 12 - 12:47 PM

In today's St. Paul Pioneer Press (newspaper), someone quoted part of the followng rhyme and asked if anyone knew the rest. I didn't recognize it, but I went Googling, and this is what I found:

The poem seems to have come from a book called An Essay on the Cultivation of the Infant Mind, Forming an Epitome of the System of Infant Education; with Copious Lessons and Rhymes for Infants' Schools, by J. R. Brown (London: Simpkin and Marshall, 1832). The poem is attributed to "Mr. Buchanan, jun."

Three little words we often see
Are ARTICLESa, an, and the.
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.
Instead of nouns the PRONOUNS stand—
John's head, his face, my arm, your hand.
VERBS tell of something being done—
To read, write, count, sing, jump or run.
How things are done, the ADVERBS tell,
As slowly, quickly, ill or well.
A PREPOSITION stands before
A noun, as in or through a door.
CONJUNCTIONS join the words together,
As men and women, wind or weather.
The INTERJECTION shews surprise,
As Oh, how pretty! Ah, how wise!
The whole are called NINE PARTS OF SPEECH,
Which Reading, Writing, Speaking teach.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: Acme
Date: 12 Apr 12 - 01:43 PM

There are rules for spelling that can be considered this sort of thing;

I before E,
Except after C,
something something,
Neighbor and Weigh.

(I know how it works, but can't remember one line, but I still use this).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Apr 12 - 01:50 PM

it's good except the line about pronouns gives wrong examples the pronouns are:- I, you, he, she, it, we, they, who, thou.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 12 Apr 12 - 10:08 PM

My father, who went to school at the end of the nineteenth century, had this rather archaic mnemonic for the parts of the verb 'to be.'

Am, is, are, art, be, being, been, was, wast, were, wert.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: Acme
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 12:10 AM

And where did your father grow up that they were using "wast" and "wert"?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 03:20 AM

He would have found them in the Bible, SRS, or other lit with old-fashioned expression. They are moreover, along with the pronouns thee, thou, &c, still dialectically current in parts of Northern England. Pronouns & verbs are the only English parts o0f speech which moderate, i.e. change their form, as did LATIN NOUNS, WITH THEIR CASE, THE WORK THEY DO IN THE SENTENCE, AS 'I' FOR THE SUBJECT, 'ME' FOR THE OBJECT [bugger these officious caps locks!]; and verbs also vary according to tense and person - 'I am, you are' today; 'I was, you were' yesterday.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 03:43 AM

I didn't say they were actually using those words, SRS. He grew up in North Antrim but I don't suppose that those cases had actually been in common use anywhere in Ireland, apart from
people like Quakers, for some considerable time before my Dad went to school. It would seem that in those days things didn't change in education as quickly as they do now.

And Michael, I have been trying to think how one would use 'wast' but I'm at loss for a phrase.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: WindhoverWeaver
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 04:27 AM

Donal, thou wast wondering how to use "wast", wast thou? (Second person singular past tense).

I feel it should be pointed out that the old rule "i before e" is odd in that there are actually more words in English that are exception than there are words that obey it!

And Guest, his, hers, etc. are pronouns, just the possessive forms.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: IanC
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 08:20 AM

i before e except after c
when the sound is eeeeeee

:-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 08:32 AM

Thanks Windhover, I'm glad that English dropped that sort of speech long ago.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 08:58 AM

Do away with 'wert'?

HAIL to thee, blithe spirit! Bird thou never wert—.
That from heaven or near it. Pourest thy full heart

would become:

Hail to thee, blithe spirit. You were never bird-
That from heaven or near it. Droppest little turd!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: Nancy King
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 09:22 AM

i before e
except after c
or when sounded as a
as in neighbor and weigh.

Happy to help...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Mnemonic rhyme for parts of speech
From: Ringer
Date: 13 Apr 12 - 10:31 AM

"They are moreover, along with the pronouns thee, thou, &c, still dialectically current in parts of Northern England."

But only, I'm afraid, in a degenerate form, at least in N Derbyshire. "Thou," "thee," "thy" &c are all rendered as "tha," and "wast" and "wert" are never heard.

I was walking my well-behaved dog off-lead on Christmas Day a few years ago and she was beset by the less well-behaved on-lead dog of a passer-by who threw the blame on me for not having my dog on the lead. "Tha'rs chuffin' barmy," said he (the first word(s) rhyming with wires).


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