Reviewing a Lifetime
(A Psychotherapist's Nightmare)
by John D. Sedory

Copyright©2013 by Daniel B. Sedory, Editor. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 8
An English Dis-Lesson


    Afraid of being embarrassed by critics well qualified to redline the daylights out of this writing, I want to insert this brief chapter in my defense.

    You may recall reading about my Rhetoric I and II classes at the first part of this book. What I didn't include in it is the fact I did very well in writing papers, but I never mastered diagramming sentences. This was especially true if sentences got long and complicated. What modified what? What it was called? How to diagram it? All this was getting the best of me, and I must have determined I'd never be able to figure it out. If it sounds right, I write it that way.

    I've books galore on the subject, and I've studied them often. Yet when it comes to conjugating verbs, I'm a dead duck! This is especially true of the words "neither/either" when used with "was/were." This is also true of words like "none" when used with "is/are."

    Of the four different dictionaries I have, three listed "none" as singular in form, while one listed it as plural. With that kind of confusion, who needs to try figuring it out?

    When and if I ever get this book in print, my second ambition is to follow it by writing another book, on English grammar and punctuation, "the Sedory way!" You can imagine what reading that book might do for you after giving these illustrations!

    Most embarrassing is the fact many of my cousins (and now, their kids) have advanced degrees, and I can't even come knee high to them on an educational level.

    One family of cousins, two girls and one boy, consists of three doctorates, two in math and one in something closer to English than math—exactly what, I don't know. Maybe that's not so outstanding, except for one thing. They grew up speaking the Slovak language!

    When we visited them in our growing up years, they spoke more Slovak than English. How on earth could they eventually all receive doctorates? And teachers at that! See my dilemma?

    Before I close out this chapter on An English Dis-Lesson, it seems appropriate to bring up "quotation marks." Notice the quotes are outside the punctuation. And if there's anything more confusing [than this], it's the conjugating of verbs mentioned before.

    One book reads, "Colons and semi-colons are always placed outside the quotation marks." Good. Sounds OK to me. But, "...quotation marks are placed inside the punctuation if they punctuate the quotation and outside if they punctuate the sentence of which the quotation is a part."

    The Bible states something to the effect[1] that we see now through a dark glass[2]. It refers to not being fully enlightened about some Scriptural or spiritual matter and that we won't be until we get to heaven. The English language is my "dark glass" while I'm on this earth, I guess!

    In closing I want to further illustrate the confusion (for me, at least). The words affect/effect are worthy of mention. One dictionary [states] it this way: "affect (vt)[3]: to have an effect upon."[4] And this isn't the worst set of words that bothers me! I could go crazy with that last sentence for that matter ("these aren't" instead of "this isn't"?). And my favorites[5] are dashes and quotation marks. Guess I figure much of what's written is parenthetical or of distinctive addition or conspicuous display.

    As you can see, my share of the smarts went to others in the family tree, and I'm bringing it up to use it as a copout!


Chapter 7


Chapter 9


1[Return to Text]  Originally the author had "affect" (usually a verb) here; which should be "effect" (the noun).

2[Return to Text]  This allusion comes from the KJV's: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:" (1 Corinthians 13:12a). To many, this seems to imply Paul's description is of someone looking through a piece of dark glass, when he's actually referring to the reflection of something or someone in a mirror. (Note: Mirrors back then were made out of metal.) Thus, more accurate translations have: "For now we see in a mirror dimly" (NASB) or " a mirror indirectly" (NET Bible).

3[Return to Text]  vt: verb, transitive (requires an object of its action). In "I hit the ball," hit is a transitive verb and ball is the object. An intransitive verb, though still an action verb, does not require an object. (Note: The same verb can be transitive or intransitive depending upon its usage in a sentence; and there are many verbs used either way.)

4[Return to Text]  Since the author wished his readers might learn something about grammar from this chapter, we believe you should take a closer look at how these two words can be used:

    Actions can affect (verb) an outcome, and an outcome is the effect (noun) of those actions. We used the word "usually" when describing the words affect as a verb (also affected, affecting, affects) and effect as a noun, because there are some (thankfully less) cases where effect may be used as a verb:

    "The rain effected (in the sense of causing something to happen) a change in the traffic flow!"

    And affect can be a noun (when used to describe an emotional state); the least used of these cases, for example:

    "Both positive and negative affects [a noun] may be employed by others to manipulate your emotions."

    You may also wish to study how the words affection (noun), effective (adjective and noun) and effectual (adjective) are related to these words.

5[Return to Text]  The author was true to his word by making use of many "parenthetical thoughts", separated by either dashes (or "—" an "em dash"), quotation marks or parentheses.