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    #1

    Smile He joined the army so he could go to college.

    Hello. I don't understand why the speaker's son had to join the army to go to college.
    Is there any cultural background? or Does it mean he is so poor?
    And one more question. "There weren't nothing I wouldn't do for that baby." could mean
    "There was nothing I could do for that baby"?
    Please help. Thank you.


    -----(from the children's novel, Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart)
    I had a son, once. Good boy, too. Strong. Funny. Big, loud laugh.
    He joined the army so he could go to college.
    Smart kid. There weren't nothing I wouldn't do for that baby.
    When he got sent to Iraq it about killed me. I ain't really the worrying type,
    but I swear I didn't sleep a full night from the moment he shipped out.
    He was just so far away. I couldn't help him. I couldn't do anything for him. I couldn't take care of my boy.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He joined the army so he could go to college.

    Quote Originally Posted by frindle2 View Post
    Hello. I don't understand why the speaker's son had to join the army to go to college.
    Is there any cultural background? Yes.

    Or does it mean he is so poor? Yes. Many poor Americans join the military so they can get educations. It's a way our government makes military service seem attractive.

    And one more question. "There weren't nothing I wouldn't do for that baby." Could that mean "There was nothing I would not do for that baby"? (That is, he would do anything for the boy.)

    Yes. The bad grammar throughout the story shows that the speaker is uneducated. The phrasing shows that the speaker is an American.

    Please help. Thank you.

    I'll mark the grammar mistakes:


    -----(from the children's novel, Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart)
    I had a son, once. Good boy, too. Strong. Funny. Big, loud laugh.
    He joined the army so he could go to college.
    Smart kid. There weren't nothing [should be was nothing] I wouldn't do for that baby.When he got sent to Iraq it about [should be almost]killed me. I ain't [should be am not] really the worrying type, but I swear I didn't sleep a full night from the moment he shipped out.
    He was just so far away. I couldn't help him. I couldn't do anything for him. I couldn't take care of my boy.
    Does that help?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: He joined the army so he could go to college.

    Thank you. It helped me a lot.

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    #4

    Re: He joined the army so he could go to college.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Bill

    There is something called the "GI bill" which is a law (and subsequent similar programs) that helps ex-soldiers pay for college.

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