Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: What’s The “Best” Way To Learn “Proper” Grammar?

Further Conversation about Grammar . . .


Our discussion about grammar has two previous posts on May 28th & May 30th… Grammar Conversation

You might be able to follow today’s part of the conversation without looking back at those two posts; but, I think you’ll gain a greater awareness of the breadth of opinion about grammar if you take a few minutes and scan them…

Forging ahead…

As is normal practice in our discussions, one comment on any given post’s topic can make the conversation continue; or, your comment might be, “Could we stop talking about __________ and discuss ____________ instead?” :-)

So, to continue, I’ll share portions of the last comment in this discussion ( from May 30th ) and also share my brief responses…

referencing the image in our last post

“In the photo at the top of this post, there’s a sentence ending with chess everyday. There’s no way those words, in that order, make sense grammatically. (Everyday is an adjective meaning ordinary or commonplace, something that happens every day. It’s possible to have everyday chess,but not chess everyday. It would have to be chess every day to work. Whoever graded that paper missed a blatant error. If teachers don’t know what’s correct, how can they teach their students? This is why we can’t have nice things… *sigh*”

I, personally, could accept “chess everyday”, if the sentence was poetic in nature; though, I can’t see what’s said before that particular set of words… Certainly seems to me that something like “My perfect life is simple—chess everyday.” Still, different folks opinions of the grammar in poetry differ far more than their opinions of “everyday” grammar…

quoting a sentence from a previous comment and making further comment

“’Latin no longer changes and I guess that is why its grammar does not either.’

“I would love to know what style guide/set of rules/whatever is being followed by writers who no longer use commas in compound sentences, for example. I’ve searched, and none of the usual style guides even say that such commas are optional, much less that they’re actually incorrect, yet I hear/read that from writers all the time. Where is this coming from?”

Personally, I had no problem understanding the quoted sentence…

And, I’m sure many folks could fruitfully contend that “style guides/sets of rules/ and whatevers” are an “option” for writers, as long as the intended meaning of the words is understood…

again, a previous comment is quoted and response given

“I’ve read (somewhere…) that grammar is ‘potentially’ present in the mind at birth—some feel there’s a proto-grammar that can ‘come forth’ in whatever language the child learns—mapping itself to the lay of the language-land…”

“According to anthropologists, it’s syntax that separates human communication from what all other animals do (yes, dogs certainly have communication, but they don’t have language, because their communication doesn’t have syntax), so I suppose you can say grammar is inherent in the human brain. Unfortunately, some people seem to want to reduce our communication to the level of mere calls (such as birds use — how appropriate) with only the most generalized meaning (‘This is scary’ or ‘Feed me’) and no added complexity of meaning from the order in which the calls are used (no syntax, etc.)”

 

Since I made the quoted comment ( and made it only to stimulate further conversation ), it appears it worked…

So, there we are—yet more divergence of opinion about the role and “texture” of grammar…

There is one last thing I can say with great confidence, since I’ve read widely enough to have experienced it and had endless discussions on the matter with a wonderful variety of folks…

There are a great number of esteemed writers who break most of the “canon” of grammar “rules”; yet, their readers seem to understand them quite well…

So…

Are there unbreakable rules of grammar?

Is it impossible to understand certain writings because they don’t adhere to what experts claim is proper writing?

Is language deep and broad enough to be used in many radically different ways which delight a wide variety of people…?

Is there some other topic in the realms of Writing, Reading, and Publishing you’d rather discuss…?
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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Top Posts & Pages for #Readers, #Writers, & #Publishers


I usually promote a post from other blogs on Sundays; but, today, I’ll promote the most visited posts and pages on this blog since its beginning in January of 2011

There have been over 105,000 visits

35,035 visits were to the main page—showing whatever posts happened to be current.

5,228 visits were to the About Page, which is usually a well-viewed feature on most any blog.

2,126 were to Writing Challenge ~ Use The 1200 Most Common Words To Write A Story…

 

1,837 were to * The Book ~ Notes from An Alien

1,216 were to Why Do Certain People Become Writers?

975 went to Free Software for Writers . . .

718 went to What’s The “Best” Way To Learn “Proper” Grammar?

635 went to Are Fiction Writers Capable of Freelancing?

601 went to * Behind The Scenes . . .

600 went to Diagramming Sentences ~ A Lost Art?

585 ended up at The Danger of A Single Story

483 visits went to * Our Author Interviews

453 were to What’s The Relationship Between A Writer & Their Characters?

438 were visits to Writing ~ Is It A Craft or An Art?

And, finally, 406 lucky people ended up at What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

These were the most visited of 1,787 posts and 9 pages…

So, why did I say the 406 folks who went to What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies? were lucky?

Because, I consider that post the most important thing I’ve written in the last six years of blogging.

If you’re new here, you can also access the Top Tags widget (further down on the left side-bar) for a handy way to find groups of posts with similar ideas
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

All Time Top 20 Blog Posts


Top 20 Blog Posts

Image courtesy of Ulrik De Wachter ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/ulrik

I’ve published 950 blog posts in the last 3.5 years.

I like to periodically list the top posts.

Because I’m careful when I tag my posts, most of my traffic comes from web searches.

Speaking of tags, if you scroll down a bit in the left side-bar, you can find loads of posts on many topics of interest to Readers, Writers, and Publishers.

The Top Posts widget down there is only for the last week or so of blogging.

What follows is the All Time Top 20 ( the numbers are how many visits that post had…):

Writing Challenge ~ Use The 1200 Most Common Words To Write A Story… 1,849
Free Software for Writers . . . 770
What’s The “Best” Way To Learn “Proper” Grammar? 643
Why Do Certain People Become Writers? 625
Are Fiction Writers Capable of Freelancing? 551
The Danger of A Single Story 538
What’s The Relationship Between A Writer & Their Characters? 345
Diagramming Sentences ~ A Lost Art? 343
Do Creative Writers Have Social “Responsibilities”? 334
Are Writers Doomed To Be Isolated And Lonely? 297
Are You A Fast Study or Slow Learner? ~ It Can Definitely Depend On The Subject And On Your MOOD! 276
Must Writers Suffer Melancholy, Anguish, and Depression? 262
Are These The Most Difficult Books to Read? 260
Fiction and Social Justice ~ Can They Coexist? 242
An “Open Source” Novel ?? 216
The Best Writing Software *Ever* ? 214
How Can An Author Make Their Book Go Viral? 210
My Cure for Social Networking Anxiety 209
What Is A Genre & Should You Try To Write In One? 204
Are Men & Women Writers Being Treated Equally? 197

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