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Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald

March 6, 2017 Amanda's View: E-Prime
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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

By Amanda Knox

Just under a year ago, my sister Delaney asked me to read and help edit her senior thesis project—an essay about her year volunteering at a local youth tutoring center. “You gotta help me, Amanda,” she pleaded. “I can’t use the verb to be.”

“That’s weird,” I said. English uses to be not only to define states of being, but also as an auxiliary verb, a necessary component of many verb conjugations. Without to be, light is neither a particle, nor a wave. Without to be, I will not be! I scowled. “That can’t literally be what your teacher wants. She probably just doesn’t want you to use passive voice, like, the milk was spilled, as opposed to, I spilled the milk.”

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“No!” Delaney huffed. “I can’t use to be at all! I’ll get marked down! Help!”

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