Wednesday, March 26, 2014
While editing one of my half-finished stories tonight, I came across this sentence: "Despite how weary he was, he sped through his chores and had them done before Uncle Jared was finished milking."
That sentence put this writer in a bit of a pickle. You see, for a while now I have constantly been corrected by my family when I say: "I am done!"
"What were you cooking?" They usually quip in return.
This jab (which I have never quite understood, BTW) is a direct reference to the grammar rule of thumb that generally goes something like: "Cakes are done. People are finished." So, seeing that I had both "done" and "finished" in the same sentence, I thought it would be a wise idea to educate myself on this "rule" (you'll learn in a second why I put quotation marks around the word). After all, I need to know for sure when to use "done" or "finished"!
Now for the big shock: this whole "Cakes are done. People are finished" thing is nothing more than a made-up nothing that is not backed by any kind of grammatical law! In other words, it is merely something that has been passed down from mouth to mouth--a folk lore, you might say! No kidding! (if you don't believe me, do your own study!)
Isn't that awesome news? You can use either "done" or "finished" whenever you want and for whatever you want, whether it be cakes, people, or milking a cow! One less grammar rule to worry about! Yippee!!!
So, I am done blogging for the night!
P.S. And yes, you can see from this post why I am constantly referred to as the "grammar guy" of the family. ;0)