Re: About Your Grammar (was Passive-o-Matic)

Subject: Re: About Your Grammar (was Passive-o-Matic)
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lcporrel -at- ESSVOTE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 10:28:00 -0600

I don't know if Doug's questions are rhetorical or not. I'm responding as if they are not because they are good questions.

I learned grammar through teaching. And while every rule has a good reason, and while many people know at least 80% of the rules unconsciously and can write comprehensibly, there is nothing innate about conscious grammar knowledge. I distinguish conscious from unconscious because as professional writers, we are bound to have conscious knowledge. It is what we are paid for and results in better writing.

The best way to learn is to get a college handbook that has nice tidy sections on commas, semi-colons, etc., such as _The Brief Holt Handbook_, and take a section a week and review, review, review. I have an advanced degree in English and have taught at two very well ranked universities, and I still feel that I need to continue to review much of what I already know and that I need to learn more.

From: Doug_Nickerson

Given that you don't need to know every grammatical principle in the world
to write well (can we take that as given?), How did you learn the grammar you

To be more TW focused, do you have innate ability, did you learn this on
the job, observation of the writings of others, had a boss that was a
particular stickler about ungrammatical constructions? Like these ones?

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000

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