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Subject:Re: About Your Grammar (was Passive-o-Matic) From:Martha J Davidson <editrix -at- SLIP -dot- NET> Date:Tue, 8 Dec 1998 11:01:11 -0800
At 10:56 AM 12/7/98 -0500, Doug Nickerson asked:
>How did you learn the grammar you know?
>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?
To begin with, I had phenomenal English teachers in junior high school,
who taught us the rudiments of English grammar, with all of the terminology
and the rules. I don't know if it's innate or not, but I loved it. I
fun diagramming sentences and knowing the names of all of the verb tenses.
What really reinforced it was studying other languages. As I learned French
and German, and later a bunch of Semitic languages, I developed a framework
for talking about the structure of language and I could map constructs in
one language family to those in others. I got to see where the different
aspects of English came from and how they were similar to other languages.
And I use that every time I write a help topic, a page of a Quick Reference
guide, or a procedure in a User's Guide, even if I'm not conscious of it.