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I doubt that you'll be able to get a kid genuinely interested in reading
about grammar, any more than you'd be able to find a video about flossing
that he'd really get into. Even a book with a cool title could prove
disappointing, when he finds out there's no vampire slaying in the book,
despite its title. I enjoyed "Woe Is I," but I sure don't think my
daughter would. You and I may enjoy reading books like these, but we're
professional writers, so these are books about what we DO. 12-year-old
boys will probably be more interested in reading about Tony Hawk
skateboarding, or bios of Baywatch castmembers. <g>
While I love to read and always have, my memories of learning grammar are
all oral. Or is it aural? Anyway, what I mean by that is that I remember
what teachers TOLD me about grammar, not what I READ about it.
I remember being forced to recite gems like "an adjective modifies a noun
or pronoun, and tells which one, what kind, or how many." (Mrs. Wilcox, my
7th grade teacher, is smiling somewhere - 31 years later, I still
I remember my mother and father (both journalists) correcting my grammar
constantly, my mother's biggest pet peeve being the misuse of the adverb
"hopefully." Even if they were looking at something I'd written, the
guidance I got was spoken, not written. But it worked fairly well. I'm no
grammar god, but I can hold my own. I think if you provide your son a lot
of spoken guidance and reinforcement, both when you're discussing
schoolwork and in casual conversation, he'll get the point.
To me the biggest grammatical road hazard kids face is AOL Instant
Messenger. Like most teens, my daughter and her friends adopt the
universal shorthand of the net, where capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling all go by the wayside.
its enuf 2 drive u 2 drink
who will NEVER misuse "hopefully," even in a sig line
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