Pursuing Prep. Phrase Perps

Prepositional Phrase mug shot

Grammar Smith had had a long day and an even longer night. All she wanted was a nice glass of Chardonnay and to go to bed. But she was still directing the roundup of the Prepositional Phrase Gang going on by the Department of English Language Offenses.

Grammar sighed and rubbed her eyes. The Prepositional Phrases were members of one of those families every community has: for the most part law abiding but with one large branch that can be depended upon to cause trouble.

In most cases, the PPs stirred up disagreement between Subjects and Verbs (which had problems getting along much of the time anyway). Throw PPs between them, and it all turns into a hopeless mess.

She looked at the operations file before her.

A couple of weeks ago at the Hunt and Peck, a Subject and Verb were at the bar, perfectly agreeable, when a Prepositional Phrase got between them and mixed things up. It pretty much spread like wildfire from there.

Grammar flipped through the reports.

The flower [subject] among the weeds {prepositional phrase} were blooming [verb].

Gusts [subj.] of frigid air {pp} chills [v] the nose.

The rays [subj.] of the alien gun {pp} spreads [v] and kills [v] quickly.

Each [subj.] of the criminals {pp} were [v] repeat offenders.

Of course, the longer things went on, the worse they got.  The DELO raids were trying to stop an epidemic.

Grammar was sipping on a cup of mud passing itself off as coffee when Det. Dis Connect radioed in.

“We’re in Tense City, and we’re having a hard time tracking down the ringleaders,” Dis said.

Wally Wordorder, head of the Fugitive Syntax Squad and with his own mug of mud in hand, knew the apartment complex well.

“Check out the Third Person Present Tense area,” he radioed back. “That’s usually where they hang out.”

“Will do!”

By early afternoon, the stream of Prepositional Phrases being charged and processed had slowed to a trickle. Grammar, Dis, and Wally walked into the bright sunshine heading for home and knowing that, in another few months, they would likely have to do it all again.


9 thoughts on “Pursuing Prep. Phrase Perps

  1. These offenders have troubled me for decades. As an avid reader, I spend most of my time with well-edited work, in books, newspapers, etc.; but in everyday life, I want to go around correcting people, sometimes can’t find who wrote the sentence in the first place, and so…I huff to myself: People! please! I love your blog; I have always found a lot of comfort in understanding grammar and spelling and I don’t know why, it may be related to why I also enjoy cleaning out closets: I like order. And I enjoy thinking about how all the parts of a word and sentences fit together. I love your sense of humor and the personality you give what most people think is a pretty dry subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the lovely feedback! I can so sympathize with wanting to correct folks, but you mostly have to just let it pass for your own sanity. (Okay, the only place I’m fanatic about order is in writing. Oh! Why can’t it spill over into the rest of my life? 😱)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. DELO’s work is never done!

    And loved this!

    “Grammar was sipping on a cup of mud passing itself off as coffee when Det. Dis Connect radioed in.”


    Thanks for the insight… and the giggles!


    Liked by 1 person

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