Nothing about learning grammar is very fun under normal circumstances. I vividly remember walking into a high school English class and seeing a sample sentence written out on the blackboard with a line, branches, and slashes. Though I always sort of enjoyed diagramming sentences (I’m a nerd, I know) many of my classmates would moan and tremble at the sight of that blackboard.
Diagramming sentences has been an effective (if not tedious) way to learn about the different parts of speech. But now we’ve got a game to help us. Sleep Furiously is a new mobile game by Playmation Studios that helps teach grammar in a very silly way.
You see, grammar can be quite funny when you break it down. You can build a sentence that’s nonsensical even though it’s grammatically correct. This is what Sleep Furiously does. In the game, you’re given a set of tiles with different words on them. You string adjacent tiles together to create any sentence you want, as long as it’s grammatically correct. The goal is to make the longest sentences possible. There are three modes. In one you have a limited number of sentences you can make. In another, you’re trying to make as many long sentences as you can in a limited amount of time. And the third is an endless mode that just lets you play around.
The game’s title comes from the sentence linguist Noam Chomsky coined to demonstrate the concept that nonsense can be grammatically correct: “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”
Some of the sentences I created include: “Ladybugs carry the green giraffes,” “Her red family threw aardvarks,” and “The elephants illustrate his curious servants.” As you can see, your creations can be quite amusing. Besides being fun on its own, the game could be fun for two kids or a parent and a kid to play together, laughing at their ridiculous sentences. Sleep Furiously may not be as precise at teaching grammar as diagramming a sentence is, but it’s a whole lot more fun.