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Grammar

Postby Ferrus » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:13 pm

Apparently my 'penchant for using florid diction is not matched by my attention to grammar'.

Any suggestions as to how I might go about improving my grammar? There seem few books or websites that deal with the topic systematically. Or at least is there a place that explains the grammatical and linguistic jargon?
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Postby Palewriter » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:41 pm

This site looks quite good for basic grammar. And this looks like a good introduction to linguistics, or at least to transformational grammar. Some would say, I know, that pure transformational grammar is a little dated, and there are certainly other, more recently developed approaches out there. But the majority of them still feature the technique of transformation in some form or fashion.

-- PW
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Re: Grammar

Postby Bailey » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:31 pm

Ferrus wrote:
Any suggestions as to how I might go about improving my grammar?

Vitamins? I just said it before Perry could

mark very-slow-on-the-trigger Bailey

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Postby Ferrus » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:03 pm

Yes, I have been told that the best means to improve your grammar is learning linguistics and understanding all parts of speech.
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Postby Perry » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:05 pm

I should probably look at some of those books myself. (Or take vitamins :? ) Like many Americans, I know what is correct usage, but am often at a loss to explain it. On the other hand I have learned French and Hebrew grammar. (Luckily, many languages are more systematic this way than English.)
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Palewriter » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:59 pm

For some reason, the teaching of English grammar seems to have been absent from schools in the UK and US (state and public, respectively). Dropped in favor of...um...something or other, I suppose. Home Economics, perhaps, or Games. I encountered no real grammar teaching whatsoever until university.

-- PW
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Postby Bailey » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:09 pm

Perry wrote:I should probably look at some of those books myself. (Or take vitamins :? )
Perry?, for your grammar who is peaky?

Anyway I do remember the endless charting on the blackboard, I usually got lost and just quit bothering to learn it, I learned proper grammar from my gramma[r] so I just never worried about it much; I got a tiny bit of exposure to sentance structure and names of each word-type at least verb names[conjugations] in Latin class, but it evaporated in the ensuing eons.

mark subject-verb-object Bailey

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Postby Stargzer » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:29 am

Palewriter wrote:For some reason, the teaching of English grammar seems to have been absent from schools in the UK and US (state and public, respectively). Dropped in favor of...um...something or other, I suppose. ...-- PW


In some US public schools, it may have been dropped in favor or passing the students on to the next grade. "Social promotion," so as not to scar anyone with failure. Nowadays it's so as not to scar the teacher with a lawsuit.

Back circa 1965-1969 my private (Catholic but not parochial) high school used the Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers. I can't put my hand on it at the moment, but it's still up there in its original "after-market" paisley book cover from 1965.

One thing that Dr. Offut "reinforced" in us was that we should never use the phrase "a whole host of things" because there is no such thing as a half a host, or any other fraction thereof (even in the Mass).
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Postby gailr » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:43 am

Stargzer wrote:One thing that Dr. Offut "reinforced" in us was that we should never use the phrase "a whole host of things" because there is no such thing as a half a host, or any other fraction thereof (even in the Mass).

Was this Dr. unfamiliar with the OT?
2Kings23:4:
"...all the objects that had been made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole host of heaven."
2Chron33:3:
"... and prostrated himself before the whole host of heaven and worshiped them."
Deut4:19:
"And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven,..."

Don't stop me now, I'm on a bagel...

-gail-the devil's advocate-r

although, "the whole host of heaven" seems to be used in the context of some alternative heaven
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:09 am

Must be from a Protestant Bible ... :wink:
Regards//Larry

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Postby Ferrus » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:26 am

Perry wrote:I Like many Americans, I know what is correct usage

Grammar has all but disappeared from the UK education system, partially because it was felt to be 'elitist'. Some universities attempt to rectify the matter but usually in a perfunctory fashion. A response to more descriptive linguistic theories, I suppose. This is despite many UK dialects having some of the worst grammar in the English speaking world - often as a result of the dead hand of previous incarnations of English, such as 'what for' which is an Old English phrase that has been fossilised.
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Postby Bailey » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:49 am

gailr wrote:"Also she sent forth her ba, to see if the snows were abated from off the face of the ground, for the snows were on the face of the whole earth."


How exactly did you aquire this Barium? Where do you keep it?

mark lacks-ba Bailey

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Postby Perry » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:00 pm

Ferrus wrote:
Perry wrote:I Like many Americans, I know what is correct usage

Grammar has all but disappeared from the UK education system, partially because it was felt to be 'elitist'. Some universities attempt to rectify the matter but usually in a perfunctory fashion. A response to more descriptive linguistic theories, I suppose. This is despite many UK dialects having some of the worst grammar in the English speaking world - often as a result of the dead hand of previous incarnations of English, such as 'what for' which is an Old English phrase that has been fossilised.


Gosh, I thought that you had caught me in a redundancy, just when we were discussing grammar. But no, a look at the original shows that you either retyped my sentence, or somehow the closing bracket in the original post got changed to the letter "I". (Ay yai yai.)
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Postby gailr » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:55 am

Bailey wrote:
gailr wrote:"Also she sent forth her ba, to see if the snows were abated from off the face of the ground, for the snows were on the face of the whole earth."


How exactly did you aquire this Barium? Where do you keep it?

mark lacks-ba Bailey

Good one, Bailey! I had never noticed the [al]chemical coincidence. All I can tell you is that my Ba represents a kind of half-life...


Ferrus:
I diagrammed sentences in Parochial Elementary School--a penitential experience, but I learned it. (Or else!) When I escaped to Public, the focus was on literature, where I developed a taste for Banned and Challenged books. :wink: The requirement for a second language was long-gone, and the parts of grammar meant nothing to many who'd come up through the system. I have a friend who teaches college-level foreign language; she loses the first several weeks doing remedial instruction on basic grammar before moving on to her subject with every first-year class.

[rant on] I would not put the entire responsibility for this on our public schools and teachers, however. Schools do not exist in a vacuum. When a community in general puts a very low value on the "snobby" ability to read/write/speak correctly, the relevance of math skills, or the distinction between science and religious education courses, the elected school board makes a major contribution to the dumbing down of its curriculum. And those parents who drain resources by filing frivolous lawsuits or who bully teachers/administrators into "giving" passing grades to kids who (a) can do no wrong or (b) are on an athletic scholarship track are stupidity collaborators. [/rant off]

It looks like you've been provided some useful resources. You've also found a site where the peeps revel in dialect and slang, but can break into grammar discussions at the drop of an aitch.

-gailr
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Postby Ferrus » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:03 am

Perry wrote:Gosh, I thought that you had caught me in a redundancy, just when we were discussing grammar. But no, a look at the original shows that you either retyped my sentence, or somehow the closing bracket in the original post got changed to the letter "I". (Ay yai yai.)

Ah yes, I didn't notice that. I don't think I delibrately typed a mistake so much as crudely effected the cutting process.
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