The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

An Exercise in Sentence Diagramming

Michael Madsen

[Redactor's Note: Michael Madsen is an English professor specializing in grammar and usage. The following sentences are taken from tests and quizzes used in Mr. Madsen's courses.]

It is sad that there was a troubling incident at the Regal Lanes, a place where the town's coolest dudes roll, when Wanda, packing a gun, came to collect child support from Clem as he stood at the hand dryer and scanned a difficult 7-10 split.

I wish I knew if I could get some Mentos, the Freshmakers, to ease my aching throat before class begins.

Now that basketball season is going, Wanda, a cheerleader, is getting a lot of floorburns from doing splits on the hardwood.

Lou Ella Farkins departed her styling salon, The Perm-A-Frost, the one Elray Sr. built in their home's garage, in a snit — her smock, positively furry with color-processed hair, fluttering in the breeze — after she heard that Young Elray had been arrested at the Slovenly Hills Mall while he should have been attending Alger Hiss Junior High School.

Jimmy used to have the standard mudflap haircut until he learned that his "do" made getting under a car difficult.

Because of his fascination with pigs, Seth wants to go to a country dance after the hog auction.

The woman whom the locals lovingly call Fluffy — mostly because she coifs her hair curls into a "hair-icane" — has started her own precision dance troupe for little girls, her charges learning self-esteem that only besequinned bumping and grinding in front of an audience of adoring parents can provide.

Arnold told all his benevolent paternal brothers who would listen that he would not be attending Moosefest 2000.

Connie loves Elbert because of his ability to grow powerful mutton chops.

LaVerl, suffering from a painful hernia, started up the Studebaker and drove to Shopko. There he bought a washable velcro truss. His wife, Thelma, has been calling it a girdle.

Rampant mouth-breathing detracting from his suavity, Eldon had his jaw wired shut.

To be nice to his mother, Elwyn decided to make a container to hold her false eyelashes and fake nails.

The price of pork rinds has been going up sharply of late.

Today those I esteem will proudly celebrate the birthday of David Hasselhoff, the man who is not only the greatest entertainer in the history of television, but also the most accomplished musical star in the Fatherland since Wayne Newton.

Munching on nachos, Connie wondered why the vendor had skimped on the liquid cheese.

There goes the woman who invented the fish stick.

Greasy and cheesy, the counter help working at the Santa Queen worried about how they would dispose of the cat fillets — which were marinating in the refrigerator, there gaining a tenderness and succulence that makes eating them less problematic — when the health department inspectors arrived.

The man whom Karla loves has a tuft of hair the size of Delaware on his back.

The pet hospital where I took Zeus for his sobering operation seems conveniently near Rod's Drive-In. Beware of the breaded, fried food.

The sleeping bag in the sleeping bag is my Aunt Donna.

Little Edwina's constant picking at scabs makes me believe she has a protein-poor diet.

His reflexes not being what they were when he was twenty, there is reason to believe that Verldon, feeling overly perky from guzzling a big swig of Geritol, may have crashed his Rascal electric scooter into the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, his wife Wanda's treasured roadboat.

At home in the doublewide, an unceasingly conscientious Leona always employs discarded peach can lids for coasters.

His dreams extinguished, Earl Anthony, a legendary bowler, shrugged his slumping shoulders, removed his wrist support, rubbed his crewcut, and glumly walked back to his Buick in the Incredi-Bowl parking lot.

There ought to be a few of those pork rinds under the seat of the El Camino.

Wanda, a woman who sports a tasteful homemade tattoo of kd lang, threatened to strike her friend Earlene with a tire iron.

Because she had just recently recovered from oral surgery to cut out the cancer, Irwina feels kind of sad now when she puts a pinch between cheek and gum.

His insurance having been canceled because of an earlier roping accident, Lynn spurned a trip to the hospital after not only he but also Lorena were involved in a troubling branding mishap on his north forty.

Believing that tweezing may violate natural law, Earl encouraged his unibrow to grow without fear of reprisal.