By ANNE DONNELL
Dear Anne, Would you explain the difference between a direct object and an indirect object? I guess that’s not really important, but I’m helping my granddaughter with her homework some, and I’d like to tell her. Thank you, -A Grannie
If we start ranking all that’s in our world we’ll turn into someone growing a BlackBerry out of his or her wrist and wearing a t-shirt that reads, “Prioritize, but remember ME FIRST.” (I have no concrete notion of what a BlackBerry is or does, but I feel safe mentioning it. I don’t think much of prioritize – a Johnny-come-lately word, dates to mid 1960’s with flower children and psychedelic hallucinations. Sounds lazy.)
(Johnny-come-lately, a sailor’s term for any new or inexperienced sailor. Dates to 1800’s, British, who actually used Johnny Newcomer. Yanks changed it to Johnny Comelately. Its use spread quickly, and its meaning broadened to mean anyone inexperienced or a newcomer.)
I’m not a nihilist or a Luddite, though. (1. nihilism – “a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless.” Thank you, Merriam Webster Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. Nihilism can get destructive, without plans for anything other than destruction. Rather a sit-amongst-the-ruins-and-laugh point of view. 2. Luddite – one who is opposed to technical change. The story is Ned Ludd, also called “King,” an eighteenth century English workman, destroyed a knitting frame and inspired bands of workmen to destroy textile machinery. Harsh reaction from the government stopped this by early nineteenth century. Well, this wasn’t sit-amongst-the-ruins; it was run-back-to-your-cottage-and-tell-the-old-lady to start weaving. Think Silas Marner. Well, “the weaver of Raveloe” was a guy.)
So here’s a bit about Silas Marner. George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) first published this novel in 1861. Marner is an embittered weaver moved to a village where he can work and have little to do with the other villagers. Two events change that: he is robbed of the gold he has earned and hoarded, and he finds a small girl wandering in the cold whose mother’s dead body is nearby. He keeps the child, and she works her magic on his hard heart.
Now, about your hard heart, here’s ONLINE DEPARTMENT with “Punny, Very Punny.” (Thanks, JA) It is said that the ability to make and understand PUNS is the highest level of language development. Here are the top 10 winners in the International Pun Contest. • 1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The Stewardess looks at him and says, “I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.” • 2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, “Dam!” •3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly, it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it, too. • 4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, “I've lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure?” The first replies, “Yes, I'm positive.”• 5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal was to transcend dental medication. • 6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their success at recent tournaments. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. But why they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”• 7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Ahmal. The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him Juan. Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, “They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal.”• 8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to persuade them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars. • 9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis. • 10. And, finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
DEFINITIONS. Direct object Noun, pronoun, or sentence element (like a clause) which receives the action expressed in the verb. The verb is transitive, meaning the action goes from the subject to the object. You can ask what or who about the action of the verb. EXAMPLES (direct object underlined). We hit the wall. What was hit? Sam hit John. Who was hit?
Indirect object Noun, pronoun, or sentence element (like a clause) for or to whom or to what the action in the verb was done. The verb is transitive. There’s no indirect object without a direct object. (But a direct object doesn’t have to have an indirect object.) EXAMPLE (indirect object underlined) The scout leader taught the entire pack a lesson in fire building. The direct object? lesson
PRACTICE: John brought me the books I needed. Susan handed her the necklace. He gave his father a gift. Can you give me directions to the school?
BW (Bigtime Word) decollation – beheading. The collar goes with the neck.