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Monday, July 6, 2015

The "Do" Word: English's Strangest Quirk

So What Exactly Is A Dummy Operator?
I am an avid reader of June Casagrande’s syndicated column A Word Please” in my local newspaper, but I was especially taken with  her column on what I call thedo conundrum” because its a little oddity that native speakers dont think about, are hardly aware of. So naturally I rushed over to the online post and left a comment. I thought youd like an example of how you might do this to broaden the exposure of your book. The secrets arent secret. Use an anecdote or resource that will add something to the conversation andwhen allowedlink back to your book that, of course, will be related somehow to the topic of the blog or article you are commenting on.
In spite of all my advanced grammar classes, I had never heard about (or even considered) the "do" in English until I began to study Spanish using Michel Thomas's CD course. As an aside, he explained that using "do" to ask questions is a new quirk in the English language and cites the King James version of the Bible as an example of the way the language sounded without it. By the way, I've tried other courses and nothing even touches Michel's for accent reduction, understanding, and speedy learning!

But back to the "do" conundrum. You can see from this little history of my exposure of "do" in English that I appreciate more than ever June Casagrandes column "AWord Please." Sometimes it is a refresher, but often it offers up information that is new--even for those of us who consider ourselves experts. And THAT is a lesson or two all its own. That is, the English language is so complex that we can never know it all, a lesson to keep reading columns (and books!) like that expand our knowledge. But knowing about the “dummy operator is the kind of thing that makes grammar fun!
By the way, "do" does some other odd things in the English language, but we'll save that for another day, another post. We don't need to expose too much of our quirkiness at one time.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

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