Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Grammar on a Bun

[a memory evoked by the Writer's Island prompt, "unforgettable"]


In the 1970's McDonald's introduced a new ad campaign and soon nearly everyone in my school could recite: "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." A year or so later, my 8th grade English teacher asked my class to prove it. As one, we chanted the slogan.

"Did you know," he asked us, "that there are the same number of ingredients in that phrase as there are parts of speech? If you have learned that, then you can learn the parts of speech in the English language."

I expect a lot of people who learned the parts of speech had to read them in a list like this:
Noun
Verb
Pronoun
Adjective
Adverb
Conjection
Interjection
Preposition

But my teacher taught us this way:
"Two all noun-verbs, special pronoun, adjective, adverb, conjunction, interjection, on a preposition bun."

And within two days, we all had it. We had learned the parts of speech. And I've never forgotten them, although I also can't list them without doing it in the form of the advertising jingle.



11 comments:

tumblewords said...

Ohmigosh, how funny is this? And creative, as well!

gautami tripathy said...

To remember the trigonometric ratios, I still use a little verse, for my students which my teacher taught to us in class 9. It was 25+ years ago!

Shoshana said...

My geometry teacher taught us trig ratios by coming in and telling us this whole long, ridiculous story about being abducted by aliens on her way to school, and eventually the punchline was "soak-a toe-a," which translated into SOH CAH TOA (sine is opposite over hypotenuse, etc.). No one in that class every forgot those ratios!

Redness said...

Ohh that is brilliant ;~) love your take!

sister AE said...

Hi, Tumblewords - he was one of my favorite teachers.

Gautami and Shoshana - sounds like some math teachers on the same wavelength! The rhyme may last a bit longer - it already has legs!

Hello, Redness. Thanks.

Crafty Green Poet said...

That is fun!

sister AE said...

Hi, Juliet - thanks.

sophie said...

There were many mnemonics for learning anatomical things. the one for the cranial nerves was "On old Olympus towering tops, a Greek and Hebrew Shared some hops." I found that one far less helpful. and it annoys me that i remember it but not the cranial nerves.

Now you have me singing Schoolhouse Rock....Lolly, lolly, lolly get your adverbs here....Conjunction Junction, what's your function?

sister AE said...

Hi, Sophie. Schoolhouse Rock came too late for me to learn grammar, but it certainly helped me with the preamble to the constitution in high school!

Just Jen said...

I'm am so using that for my boys! That is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!!!!
Ok, so I'm a little too excited over grammar, but we home educate and every little bit helps. That's really neat.

sister AE said...

Hi, Just Jen. I hope it works for you. I generally didn't get much formal grammar education - I will say that one of the most useful things for me was the one week (yes, just 5 days) when they pulled out some decades-old grammar books in high school to teach us to diagram sentences. We only glossed over that, but it really did help me see how the parts of a sentence fit together - and sometimes how to tell when a sentence (like this one) is WAY too long.