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« My Year in Books | Main | Good intentions »

December 21, 2003


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» The War Against Grammar by David Mulroy from book-blog reviews
In pellucid prose, author David Mulroy, a classicist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, discusses the deleterious effect that a decades-long avoidance of formal instruction in grammar has had on American students: SAT scores are down; reading ... [Read More]



My wife's composition students this semester were unable to say what a contraction is (which went most of the way toward explaining why they kept using them in their papers). In entirely related news, I've assigned a book on sentence diagramming in my own composition section in the spring.

One last anecdotal point in the "War against Grammar": My department no longer offers "Grammar for Secondary Ed Teachers," apparently because demand has dropped so precipitously. (Grammar's not part of the curriculum anymore.) It's no wonder that first-year students don't know participles!

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