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Talk to Me #4

March 6, 2010

We’ve talked enough, now it’s YOUR turn. Answer the questions below in the comment section. Come on readers, don’t be shy. 🙂

In honor of National Grammar Day, (which was Thursday), do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?

More importantly, have you read them?

How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?

Questions taken from Booking Through Thursday

  1. March 6, 2010 1:41 am

    As a teacher of English to non-English speaking adults, I deal with grammar every day. Grammar is the backbone of our language, providing the skeleton for whatever we want to say. As such, it is vital, if we want to make ourselves understood. That’s the role of grammar. So anything that goes beyond that, i.e. never starting a sentence with a conjunction is pedantic and has little to do with language as such.

    It probably goes without saying that I do have grammar books, dictionaries etc. The one rule of style I give to my students is: “Keep it simple.” Complicated sentences are far more prone to mistakes. Not just for French people.

  2. March 6, 2010 9:11 am

    I had a journey back to the basics last week when I took on the role of a relief teacher for a class of year 4s (9 years old) I introduced nouns, Proper Nouns, verbs and adjectives over the few days I taught them. distressing what a difficult task is was for kids to understand the difference between a word which describes and action and one that is just a naming word… I even had them acting out the word to get it into their bodies the difference between an action word ( the verb) and a word that doesn’t move – just sits there ‘being’.. ( the noun)…..

  3. March 6, 2010 12:40 pm

    Oh yes! Grammar is one of my pet peeves. Needless to say, I spend way too much time editing and correcting my own writings. I do have many grammar and other writing specification books from my days in college (and this was not that long ago, I was a non-traditional student in her 40’s).

    However, there are plenty of typos and grammar gaps in most of my blog posts, etc. It has been an effort to stop spending so much time editing and focus my attention on the writing.

    Even as I write this reply I hope to not find too many boo-boo’s after I submit so as to not sit cringing, going over and over the mistakes!

  4. March 6, 2010 1:19 pm

    Of course grammar is important, and along with that, goes punctuation. We all make typographical errors and I am one of the worst, I am sure, but I will willingly use a spell checker for some of my mistakes. But where does that help with basic grammar? Split the infinitive if it makes the sentence clumsy otherwise; start any number of sentences with conjunctions of you want… it can give weight and emphasis… But (See!) for the sake of all the Muses, try to punctuate properly. I am tired of starting to read something by someone who is so up his (or her) arse, telling me how to write and telling me that he (or she) is so clever, and then finding that they never use an apostrophe or even seem to feel the need for one. It’s a beautiful language that we are using, but you can’t fake it if you write it down and just run on and on without understanding all the appropriate signposts and stop signs.
    People on this site are some of the worst offenders… not all of them, but some.
    Do you want to read a book that will explain everything to you and yet entertain you till you’re rolling in the aisles? Read Lynn Truss’ book: ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’.
    And finally: I have a friend whose first language is Hindko, his second language is Urdu (state language of Pakistan), and yet he understands the working of the English language better than I, who was a teacher and majored in English when I was in University College. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Perhaps it is our pathetic education system in the English Speaking Countries.

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