This Grammar Day, let's not look at grammar as a cold, harsh mistress. She can also be a fun, kooky aunt. Here are some tricks you can do to make crazy sounding sentences that are still grammatical.
You may find this amusing or of potential value as a piece of "informational reading" for your students.
WARNING: This may even challenge the pride that even the most serious grammar police might take in their expertise.
I have to admit that I have not been a big fan of most traditional approaches to dealing with the issues that grammar targets. The complicated vocabulary of grammar just amplified my annoyance regarding what I perceived in my disinterested early youth as completely unengaging complex explanations that seemed to have more exceptions anyway than value, had me locking doors to any potential receptiveness to the potential value of grammar rules. Being annoyed rather than receptive was not a wise reaction, but the purpose it served in permitting my distain to guide my reaction, completely trumped any perceived value in caring about grammar.
Later, but not much later, a few teachers took my attitude which was actually never even impolite, as a cue to imply that I was stupid. Perhaps that wasn't their intention, but in my unsophisticated comprehension, that's how I took their "encouragement." I wasn't actually stupid; I just didn't have a perceived reason to care.
My appreciation for the rules of grammar did not take a radical change until I was a senior in high school. Though like many (partially) disengaged students, by that time I had learned to hide disengagement behind a minimal effort to learn just enough to not draw attention to my disinterest. My actual sense of the value of grammar itself hadn't changed much, but my sense of the value of pretending to be engaged in order to avoid negative attention had blossomed.
But, something completely unanticipated changed all that. I fell madly in like with a girl who I had come to find out had a bit of a crush on me. So Plan A became, "Try to get in as many classes with S_____ during my senior year as possible." The problem being she was "smart." Very smart. Her crush on me had nothing to do with my intellectual curiousity. It was based entirely upon the fact that she found me "kind of cute" and very funny.
The bottom line was, the only class where there was any chance of being in the same class with her was English! And, she'd already distinguished herself enough to be "invited" to take what was at that time the equivalent of an Advanced Placement course.
So I found myself, too clueless to consider the odds, making my case to Mr. Kay, the teacher, for letting me in the class in spite of my less than stellar previous performance record. He was well-known to be a cool teacher. And, I did like to read. So when he asked me why I wanted to be in the class. I emphasized how much I loved reading and how much my junior English teacher had begun to get through to me that grammar did actually have some value worth more consideration than I'd previously given it.
Then Mr. Kay asked me if I was being forthright, a word I wasn't actually quite sure I ever had come across before.
I responded a bit more passionately than might have been expected, "Mr. Kay I've got to get into this class. I'll do every single assignment and work harder than I've ever worked before in an English class. I promise. Really. You can kick me out if I don't."
And he smiled, paused a moment and quietly said, "Okay, I'll hold you to that, but I've got one more question."
"Anything Mr. Kay!"
"So what's her name?" he grinned. He knew.
"S________," I replied sheepishly. "But really, I meant it when I said I'd do every assignment and work hard. I wasn't lying about that. I just want you to know that."
"I'm convinced you will," he replied smiling.
I did. S________ and I wound up dating for a couple of years. S_______ gave me so many reasons to grow up intellectually.
And, Mr. Kay's well-deserved reputation as a cool teacher turned out to be based upon the simple fact that he made every one of his students feel as though he cared about them personally and I was one of those kids who just couldn't allow myself to let down anyone who cared about me as a person.
She and Mr. Kay sort of double teamed me and seriously, by the end of my senior year, I had set my course on becoming an English teacher just like Mr. Kay.
And that's how I came to care about grammar.