Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are you smarter than your kid?

The other day my 6th grader asked for help with her homework.  I was so pleased that she chose me because it's a sense of pride for the mister and I to be asked based on our qualifications.

I'm usually the one who takes all the reading and writing and the mister is anything technical.  That's basically everything else.

So I read the directions and freeze.

It's basic English rules for grammar.  This is something I should be very good at.  Instead I realize that I've been making a horrible mistake-- a LOT!!

I'm scanning in my mind how many times I've made this mistake and mortification sets in.

The basic rule is to put commas between lists connected with and, or, but ect.  In my defense someone with a wide educational back ground informed me that you do not put a comma on the last word before the "connecting" word.

So I've been doing it like this...

I went to the store and bought milk, eggs, bread and cheese.

The rule says you should be doing....

I went to the store and bought milk, eggs, bread, and cheese.

So my sixth grader is officially smarter than me.

The world as I know it is over.


Anybody with me?

10 comments:

Katie said...

I have been doing it wrong all these years too, and I thought English was my strong point also.

Jennifer said...

Well, you know how things change over time... I believe that is one of those things that was a hard and fast rule, but now it's not so much. Probably depends on the curriculum. I prefer it with the comma myself... that's how I was taught. But if that's your worst grammatical transgression, kudos to you! =)

ReneeB said...

This summer, there was some discussion about the removal of the final comma when using serial commas... but sadly for you, it is still being used.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/06/30/137525211/going-going-and-gone-no-the-oxford-comma-is-safe-for-now

Lyndsay said...

I have to say that is one thing that I've actually been doing right. But I actually thought they had changed that rule and so I had technically been doing it wrong. I was sticking to the way I had been doing it for years because I thought it looked better. =) (did that make sense?)

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I think it looks better without the comma but that is the way I have been doing it for years so that would be why. I really can't remember which was I was actually taught. Can't say I am going to change my ways now!

Heather@Simply Mommy said...

I completely understand! There has been quite a few times that I've had to completely reteach myself something just to show them how, and hope that I was right and not teaching them wrong :0)

I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar said...

I'm kind of comma-happy. I think I probably use, them, too, much. :)

Cheri

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

To be fair: when I was in 5th grade there was a "great debate" over this topic happening (or at least that's how our teacher explained it to us) and at the time it was a matter of opinion. Apparently that opinion thing is over. So, you probably just learned it differently. It's like how they are trying to teach math now, by trying to teach kids even in kindergarten strategy. I think it's stupid, since they can't actually understand strategy on average till the end of 1st grade or into 2nd. But, I'm homeschooling our 1st grader, so I teach her the way I like, though, if we ended up sending her to school she'd get in trouble for doing it wrong (though, she'd get the exact same answer!)

Xuan said...

Funny that I see you post this about commas. I've always wondered about it because I've always done it the way you originally do. I just think it's silly to put an extra comma in there.

kristen said...

Joe forgot his spelling list one day, so I called another mom to get it. As she read the words to me there were at least 5 that I was unsure if I had spelled right. She made me feel better when she questioned the spelling of some of them too. We both spell checked them, we were wrong. Thank goodness for spell check, right?

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