Re: Learning English Thread

Subject: Re: Learning English Thread
From: Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 11:26:39 -0700

On Mon, 4 Dec 1995, David Dvorkin wrote:

> Is diagramming peculiarly American? (It certainly is peculiar!)
> I'd never heard of it until I came to this country, and I never did
> get the hang of it -- or want to. It seems to add an unnecessary
> layer of complication: the student must learn the rules of
> diagramming in addition to those of grammer.

I don't know whether diagramming is limited to Americans. I do know that
not all of our teachers teach it. I personally have mixed feelings about
diagramming. I loved it myself--just as I love working crosswords. I
find it an intriguing challenge. As to the value, I know of nothing that
so clearly establishes the relationships between the various parts of a
sentence. An awareness of this helps us know exactly what is being
said--and whether it is what we want to say. Many people seem to be able
to pick this skill up without resorting to diagramming, but I've seen a
lot of writing that would have been improved considerably if the writer
had had to learn grammar with the kind of thoroughness that diagramming

RoMay Sitze, rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu

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