Re: Learning English Thread

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
> said.

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!)

So right!

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

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