In English, word order is very strict. In many other languages, however, word order is fluid.
Have Yourself a Grammatically Correct Christmas!
Yoda is a reminder of how funny a bit of poor grammar can be around the holidays.
The holiday spirit moves many people to wax poetic. However, even though their hearts may be in the right place, their grammar often isn’t. Check out some infamous holiday quotes, and see what they really imply:
“No man is a failure who has friends.” – It’s a Wonderful Life
Clarence may be an angel, but his grammar is less than angelic. He is saying that there isn’t a man alive who is a failure who also has friends. What he meant to say was, “no man who has friends is a failure.”
“I stopped believing in Santa when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” – Shirley Temple
We hope Shirley did not stop believing in punctuation, too. She forgot the comma between the first clause and the conjunction “and.”
“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.” – Joan Rivers
It seems that Joan Rivers believes that all women have the same husband; no wonder she implies they may be disappointed on Christmas morning! Unless Joan was playfully suggesting that all men are exactly the same, she should have said that women do not want to find their husbands in a stocking on Christmas morning.
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – A Christmas Carol
Alas, even the venerable Charles Dickens is not immune to blunders of punctuation. A Christmas Carol is a story about generosity and the Christmas spirit. Mr. Dickens, though, was a little too generous with his commas, which are unnecessary between the two verbs within this sentence.
“The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” – Helen Keller
Thank you, Helen, for showing us that even a person without sight does not have to be blind to proper grammar. This poetic sentence is excellently written, while carrying a wonderful holiday sentiment.
This is true for American English. It is common in British English to place the punctuation outside of the quotation marks based on logical clarity.
AmE: Please explain what you mean by “traditional.”
BrE: Please explain what you mean by “traditional”.
“Only once, you live.”
Who doesn’t love Yoda’s grammar on a Friday?