About TVR  |  Site Index  |  Advertising in TVR  |  Subscribe to TVR  |  Donate to TVR  |  Search TVR  |  TVR Audio  |  TVR Forum
TVR Home > August 2001 TVR > In Next Month's TVR Contact TVR

In Next Month's TVR



___________________ Featured in Next Month's TVR ___________________

 

Peter Corey
Peter Corey
The title of this essay might have been "How Linguistics Is Constantly Trying to Kill Grammar" because as long as people are free to choose the means of language study, traditional grammar (in some form or other) shall survive. Indeed, some of the demand for traditional grammar knowledge is being satisfied by private organizations like "SCORE!," which is owned by Kaplan Testing (which itself is owned by the Washington Post); part of it is being satisfied by the growing movement of home schooling, which has given rise to a division within the education sector of the publishing industry for books on home schooling curricula. In a recent one, the authors issue both recommendations and warnings to readers:
One caution. The Writing Strands books declare that no one ever learned to write by studying grammar. While this is true, there's a strong flavor of "Therefore, nobody needs to study grammar" throughout the books. Grammar is necessary. So is writing. Contractors should be able to draw up plans and hammer nails; young writers should know their grammar rules and be able to put them to use in compositions." [The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, 1999]


Joseph Epstein
Joseph Epstein
Your basic language snob — that, friend, would be me — is never out of work. Just as he gets his wind back after railing about one or another overworked or idiotically used word, fresh misusages appear to cause him to get his knickers in a fine new twist. Everyday evidence of the inefficacy of my own fulminations in print against the words focus and icon is available in the public prints, the airwaves, and what is laughingly called civilized discourse. With freshly twisted knickers, then, I persevere, "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."


Robert Fulton
Robert Fulton
"Write! Just write anything! And you'll become a better writer!" No, you won't. That ridiculous suggestion makes as much sense as: "Invest! Just invest in anything! And you'll become a better investor!" The pseudo-rationale behind this is "practice makes perfect." No, it doesn't. Unless you're practicing things that improve you, you'll just be practicing the same old mistakes. Though that may make you perfectly better at making those mistakes, it won't make you a better writer.


The September issue of The Vocabula Review is due online September 16.


_____________________________________________________________________

 

Back one page Print this page
About TVR  |  Site Index  |  Advertising in TVR  |  Subscribe to TVR  |  Donate to TVR  |  Search TVR  |  TVR Audio  |  TVR Forum


.TVR Home


Copyright © 1999-2001 Vocabula Communications Company. All rights reserved.
No material from this site may be used or reproduced without permission.
Vocabula is a registered service mark of Vocabula Communications Company.
Grumbling About Grammar is a registered service mark of Vocabula Communications Company.
TVR signature tune copyright © 2001 Vocabula Communications Company. All rights reserved.