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Subject:Re: Learning English Thread From:Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU> Date:Tue, 5 Dec 1995 11:45:32 -0700
On Mon, 4 Dec 1995, Rose Wilcox wrote:
> 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
In addition to this type of usage, I've also found diagramming to be
useful in understanding legal documents. I don't always take the time to
actually sit down and write it out, but mentally diagramming a sentence
or phrase has frequently saved me some headaches.
> 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!)