Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I Blame The No Grammar Teaching

The Canadian Press wants you to know that Texting, Twitter and "no grammar teaching" is causing students to have poor grammar.

First of all, there's this quote:
"I get their essays and I go 'You obviously don't know what a sentence fragment is. You think commas are sort of like parmesan cheese that you sprinkle on your words'," said Budra.

You "go", do you? The verb you want there is "say".

Moving on. Moving on.
He [Budra] too blames poor - or no - grammar instruction in lower schools.

Break that sentence down. "He blames no grammar instruction in lower schools."

That doesn't make sense. What the writer means to say is that Budra is blaming a lack of grammar instruction. Instead, the sentence as written actually means that Budra does not blame grammar instruction at all.

Imagine if you were arguing with a Conservative who was determined to blame the recession on the poor. You might reply with, "I blame no poor person for this recession."

With that sentence, you would be saying that you are not blaming poor people. But, according to the "grammar" in this particular article, you would be blaming the recession on a lack of poor people.

Grammar: if you're going to write an article about it, get your act together.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only grammar my kids have learned in school is in French. It is not on the English curriculum, at least in Manitoba, which might account for it being a have-not province.