Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Breaking news!!!

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)


  1. Wow:) I love writing, but I don't think I would haven ever gone into this much detail just to prove I was correct in my word usage......but thanks for the information.....I'm sure it will come in handy......sometime:)

  2. Uhhhhhh... I never would have thought of that!!!

    But... my mind is so clouded with swimming, life guard stuff, CPR protocols, rescue breathing, AED and a thousand other things, that I'm thinking of very little else right now! That ends tomorrow, so I'll be kind of sad I guess! But, as of today, I'm certified for CPR and AED and tomorrow, I"ll be a life guard!

    Tomorrow.... (you could say) I'll be done with the course!
    (had to use that word!

  3. So, this breaking news is earth-shattering to me. ;-) This is about the only thing I remember from my early grade school days. (Well, maybe a few other things, like the difference between cumulonimbus and cirrus clouds. And that the lady with all the snakes coming out her head during the study of Greek mythology was really creepy.) I believe it was my 3rd grade teacher who corrected me on done vs. finished. But when I said "I'm done!" her reply was "How long did you cook?" Maybe it is just growing up with this little correction cemented in my brain by my 3rd grade teacher, but I still think "finished" does sound more "proper." But I suppose this could be a whole nother topic for debate! ;-)
    Love you!

  4. Elanee: Yeah, well, self-publishing my own book has kind of ruined me. I'm like obsessive-compulsive as far as editing goes now. ;0)

    Jordan: Congrats on your lifeguard training! I am certified in CPR and AED. :0) (2 breaths, 30 compressions is about all I remember, though) ;0)

    Mommy: Haha, but remember, you have never been wrong for using done!!! If you could only find that 3 grade teacher now . . . you could give her a lesson in being done with this whole done Vs. finished thing. ;0) A whole nother? Now that *is* bad . . . :0P Love you!

  5. < Yikes, blogger cuts off my head!!! O_O Definitely need to change my profile pic . . .

  6. Wow Kyle... talking to yourself I see, are you really that lonely?! I think you're too tall to fit into the profile picture limits.... ;P

    That post made a lot of sense! :? :) :? :P :? xP

  7. Eden: Um, I told you to ignore me . . . :0P What on earth are all those smileys supposed to mean?