Reading The Elements of Style (found it on my shelf). Reads to me like a foreign language, or rather like some dialect that uses familiar letters and sounds, and strings them together with words I know, but then fills each sentence with words I don't know the meanings of, so I'm foever going "Huh?" "What?". I feel like an idiot. The examples are helpful, I can understand them. I just can't comprehend the sentences containing the rules. The book assumes, sadly wrongly so, that I have some sort of clue as to the definitions (and thus the words contained within them), of the terms it uses.
Goodness, I'm going to have to make flash cards and stick them around my house; see if I can't get some of this stuff into me.
No I am not smarter than a 5th grader.
a conjunction introducing an independent clause
a participial phrase
My brain just doesn't hold such things.
( I do however recall what adjectives, nouns, and verbs are)
Many of the rules once I see the examples, I realize I know and do; others I know I can't consistently apply, because I can't understand what is contained within the rules.
Salt, I need mental salt, to help me retain information like water.