from Mark Twain’s essay “English as She is Taught”
The writing below is copied from a book of Twain’s non-fiction essays, specifically an amusing one titled “English as she is taught”, which illuminates the mistakes of young children as they learn. I especially find this funny because there are websites today devoted to these sort of things, where teachers post “funny” answers given to them by students. For example, “Biography: Walt Whitman”<— this one is the best.
But I digress. Here is Mark Twain, with the help of some young students:
Under the head of ‘Grammar’ the little scholars furnish the following information:
- Gender is the distinguishing nouns without regard to sex.
- A verb is something to eat.
- Adverbs should always be used as adjectives and adjectives as adverbs.
- Every sentence and the name of God must begin with a caterpillar.
- When they are going to say some prose or poetry before they say the prose or poetry they must put a semi-colon just after the introduction of the prose or poetry.