Cow is a Noun

milking-a-cow

NOTHING LIKE GRAMMAR. — Nothing like grammar! Better go without a cow than go without that. There are numberless “professors” who go “tramp, tramp, tramp; my boys,” all around the country; peddling a weak article, by which, “in twenty days,” they guarantee to set a man thouroughly up in the English language. An instance in point comes from Greenville, Alabama, where a  “professor” had taught them to dote on grammar according to “Morris” system.

During on of the lectures, the sentence “Mary milks the cow,” was given out to be parsed. Each word had been parsed save one, which fell to Bob ____, a sixteen-year old, near the foot of the class, who commenced thus:

“Cow is a noun — Feminine gender, singular number, third person, and stands for Mary.

“Stands for Mary!” said the excited professor, “How do you make that out?”

“Because,” answered the noble pupil, “if the cow didn’t stand for Mary how could Mary milk her?

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 15, 1871

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