Re: Learning English Thread

Subject: Re: Learning English Thread
From: Rose Wilcox <RWILC -at- FAST -dot- DOT -dot- STATE -dot- AZ -dot- US>
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 16:23:00 PST

David Dvorkin wrote:

>I agree with all of those who praised the value of teaching kids
>the rules of grammar and usage. Diagramming sentences, though, is
>a different matter.
>I never learned how to do it, never wanted to, and have never felt
>the lack. I real good write without it. (That's a joke, son.

So far in my career as a roving tech writer, I haven't run into *any* other
writers who can diagram sentences. I haven't found it much use in actual
*writing*; however, I have used it occasionally to parse a sentence written
by an engineer or programmer. Sometimes diagramming a particularly obtuse
sentence has allowed me to discern what was meant, as opposed to what was

Otherwise, you're right. In general, the types of sentences we write should
be simple enough in construction that diagramming them would be futile, not
to mention tedious. (Not that all our sentences will be simple, but I hope
they won't be convoluted!)

Rose A. Wilcox
rwilc -at- fast -dot- dot -dot- state -dot- az -dot- us (until the end of Feb.)
ncrowe -at- primenet -dot- com (home address)

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