Thursday, September 17, 2015

Notice: Signs Have Become Self-Aware!

     I guess my husband has read too much absurdist literature where the machines become self-aware and start thinking.  He usually comes up with all the titles around here anyway.  
So here are a few signs that are thinking and telling us (or others) what to do. 

Participles People !

The way I teach my students to remember participles is like this:

                P A R T I C I P L E 

  A participle is a verb form functioning as an adjective, as in burnt toast, a gurgling stream, a smiling man, etc.  In my English classes we mark them with a "hockey stick" and we call them that too, sometimes.  This way the slanted line identifies them the way we do adjectives, but the flat part of the hockey stick shows that we noticed the verb ending as well.   I even have them "play detective" and we actually circle the verb ending to draw our attention to it.  
     So, to correct these signs, the puppies are mixed breed pups, evidently.  Again, mix is usually a verb, but as it is used here it is a participle.  They are mixed breed pups.  The way it is presented, the sign is directing the pups to mix, or rearrange themselves, I suppose.  Or it is directing the reader to mix the pups, as in  
"(You) mix pups." 

     Secondly, the price is reduced, therefore it is a reduced price.  The way it is displayed on the sign is in the imperative form, a command, which technically is directed to the price (a noun of direct address), telling it to reduce itself as in,  "Price, reduce!"  
     Or, it could even mean "The price has been reduced." in an abbreviated form.  Then it is functioning as a verb and should read, "Price Reduced".  

     And on the second sign, the goods are baked, and therefore it should read baked goods.   As it appears now, the people reading the sign are supposed to go and bake some goods, as in, 
                                                           "(YOU) bake goods."
      And I diagrammed them just for fun.  Hey, my coffee isn't done yet.  I wanted to do something entertaining.