Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days: Day 9 — Space. The final frontier.

Gave more blood today. Doc ordered more tests, the names of which sound like alphabet soup. While the phlebotomist was filling vials through a long tube (you know they're serious about draining you when they hook up a two-foot hose), we had a lovely conversation about her coming here from Peru (she married an American) and how she could have gotten a fiance visa (apparently there really is such a thing) but her fiance at the time (now husband) didn't want her to because he didn't want her to change her mind and go back before they got married. And she had to leave her 10-year old son in Peru with her sister for the first six months because she found out too late that he had to have a separate application (and another $325 fee). By the time she got his app in, it took an extra six months to process. This is way more than I ever wanted to know about a person who draws blood for a living, especially when it's my blood. You know you are really sick when you know the full marriage and immigration story of your lab tech.

I apologize to those of you who are only here for the grammar. And now, on with our regularly scheduled program.

Today's lesson requires a lead-in—a story that will set the stage. It does not involve blood.

My 19-year-old son, Mansquared, is a waiter at Bonefish Grill. The lady who used to be my neighbor, (Princess P's mommy) is a manager there and started Mansquared as a busser last year. Because he is a hard worker and loved by everyone (well, almost), he moved up to waiter and has done a great job.

Last night a couple came in with their baby. I'm not sure how old the baby was (Mansquared isn't good with details like that), but this couple required quite a bit of help. They were blind. Both of them.

They arrived in a cab, and Mansquared and the busser, Lucas, went out to help them get inside. They were seated at a table and Mansquared waited on them. When they were finished, he and Lucas got them back in a cab, buckling the baby in for them.

So this afternoon, Mansquared was telling Leah and me about—talking kind of fast—when he said, "Lucas led them in to their table . . ." and Leah interjected (Hey! It's Greek!) (Sorry.), "Did he lead them into their table? I hope not!"

Mansquared stopped and looked back and forth at the two of us for a moment before finishing his story. (Which, by the way, makes this mama very proud. His manager called me today to tell me what a great young man he is.)

The point of this story (there really is one) is that there is a huge difference between

into      and      in to

If he led them into their table, they would have hurt themselves, since they can't see where they're going.

If he led them in to their table, they would be brought inside and then taken to the table they would be dining at.

So what's the difference?


In this case, it's not really the final frontier, but it sure does make a huge difference in what happened to the blind couple. And if you asked them, I'm sure they'd be thankful for the space.

(Someday we will also cover the end of this voiceover, "to boldly go where no man has gone before," the best-known split infinitive in the history of man.) (But I digress.) (I do that a lot.)

If you're still not convinced, here's another example:

I once received a jury questionnaire in the mail. (This is a true story.) I was instructed to fill it out and "turn questionnaire into your circuit court clerk."

Now that would be one awesome piece of magic, turning a piece of paper into the court clerk. 

Abra-ca-dabra . . . presto-change-o . . . POOF! You're a clerk!

Get it? Do you see the difference between into and in to?

This may seem like a tricky little distinction, but it's easy to figure out which one you mean. See if you can say it without the to. Could you say "turn it in"? If you can, then in to should be two words.

Remember in John chapter two where Jesus was at the marriage in Cana and he turned water into wine? Ask the question: did He turn water in? No, he turned it into (something). So into is one word.

I could go off on a long, detailed explanation here of how into (turned water into wine) is a preposition that has its own object (into wine) (a preposition always has an object), and how the two-word phrase in to (turn your paper in to the teacher) is actually made up of in, which acts as an adverb that modifies turn and to which is a preposition that has an object (to your teacher), but it's already after ten and I'm getting pretty tired. 

I'm getting ready to turn in (to my bed). (in is an adverb that tells where I will turn)

At 11:00 I turn into a pumpkin. (into is a preposition with an object, into a pumpkin)

Baaaaaaa-hahahaha! Bahaha! Haha! Ha. Heh. *sigh*


Be thankful ~


Anonymous said...

LOL...you're funny. Great lesson today. I think that the way you explained 'into and in to' is simple enough to teach my children. Thanks!

Dorothy said...

Loving your blog and your explanations, they are really making sense to a 50+ year old who lacked a strong grammar background. I hope they can figure out what is wrong, get rest and keep us posted.