Back To School Wisdom


Written by the data-loving daughter of an english teacher

Growing up, I was never all that great at grammar and punctuation. As you will probably see in this post, I'm still not. It’s why I focused more on numbers rather than letters. The fact that my dad was a math teacher probably didn’t hurt either.

My mom, the english teacher, did try to ensure I remembered certain rules around grammar. To help she shared some funny examples:

Grammar Wisdom Example #1: Lay Vs. Lie

Inevitably I hear someone use this incorrectly at least once a week. “I’m not feeling well so I’m going to lay down.”

I know grammatically this is incorrect because my mom shared with me that the only things that lay are: a person with an illegal street corner job and a female animal in the poultry family. The rest of us lie. Crude but funny and it has stuck with me. If you want the exact phrase she used, connect with me on LinkedIn and I can share.

So from that example it should be “I'm not feeling well so I'm going to lie down.”

Grammar Wisdom Example #2: Commas

Apparently, commas save lives.

Let’s eat Grandma - Uh, gross
Let’s eat, Grandma – much better

Fun SAS® Wisdom

I now have school aged kids of my own. I haven’t shared all Grandma’s wisdom yet. Lay vs. lie I will save for the teenage years, but they definitely know what’s for dinner and it isn’t Grandma.

Now that I'm grown up, I'm  still drawn to numbers but I do remember one punctuation that brings a little bit of each of my parents worlds together. The semicolon!

For those who may not know, the semicolon is a pertinent aspect to programming in SAS and it shouldn’t be forgotten. EVER.

I have shared with my mom (and kids) that I think the semicolon is even more important than the comma. After all, it makes a statement!!!!!!

It may save lives, too. Especially if the comma is forgotten. Here is an example of what I mean:

Let’s eat Grandma.
Run; Grandma Run;

My Wisdom

As the school year begins, you many still be deciding what to do when you grow up. If you are like me and have an interest in both language and math, SAS can help.

After all it has been said that the sexiest job of the 21st century is the data scientist. Getting the skills needed to land that job would definitely make a statement at your class reunion.

Have fun and always remember the ;


About Author

Sara Jones, CMP

Project Manager

Events Project Manager at SAS working with users groups such as NESUG, WUSS, and others.

Related Posts

1 Comment

  1. Good reminders Sara... With a semi-colon a SAS programmer surely does make a statement; without it, some errors or undesired results. :-)

    I'm curious to learn your mom's exact phrase now...

Leave A Reply

Back to Top