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Monday, December 4, 2017

In Support of Good Grammar



Who’s (Oops) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway?  All the Grammar You Need to Succeed in Life by C. Edward Good is one of those books on grammar that could replace most others on the subject.  Yes, it’s that good.

Good does a great job of outlining our language, including common grammatical mistakes, the eight big parts of speech and the 11 elements of punctuation. We may know when a period is needed but not always the comma.  We often confuse the semicolon with the colon and what’s the difference between a dash and a hyphen?  Not sure?  Just know where to stick an apostrophe, quotation marks, and your parentheses.

I appreciate the book's breakdown on the key parts of speech:

1.      Nouns-words that name.
2.      Verbs-Words that do or are.
3.      Adjectives:  Words that describe.
4.      Pronouns: words substituting for words.
5.      Adverbs: More words that describe.
6.      Conjunctions – Words that join.
7.      Prepositions – Words that glue.
8.      Interjections – Words that exclaim

Here are some random but insightful thoughts excerpted from Good’s book:

“By learning the grammar of the language – its structure – the way it fits together – you’ll begin to see the words, phrases, and clauses you habitually use and those you tend to avoid.

“Some school board somewhere right now is concluding that we don’t need to devote much class time to grammar.  After all, grammar is just elitist worry about out-of-date rules or just a fretting about manners.  Will that school board’s decision help further erode the knowledge of grammar in this nation?

“You bet.

“One day this nation will wake up, realize the harm we’ve done, and begin to insist that we get back to basics.  A thorough study of grammar should head the list.

“Words do matter.  Words do carry meaning.  And grammatical rules do govern the way we put our words down on paper so that we can transfer knowledge to future generations.  If we have no rules, then words and groups of words can mean whatever we want.

“Maybe, just maybe, the erosion of grammar has a lot to do with the widely acknowledged erosion of communication skills in the United States.  Perhaps the erosion of grammar would help explain why the professor’s students use like after every third word.

“I hope you agree that good writing comes directly from a broad and deep knowledge of the structures our language makes available to us.  If we do not study them, if we do not learn all about them, if we do not practice using them in our discourse, then the future for our own ability to communicate is bleak indeed.

“Some of us will continue to cry out that grammar and style are inextricably bound up together.  We believe deeply that we cannot learn to write well without knowing grammar – not just the basics but some fairly sophisticated concepts undergirding our language.

“Those I hope, you’ve learned in this book.

“Words matter.  The way they come together to convey meaning is governed by a set of rules.  That set of rules is called grammar.  Either you know it, or you don’t.”

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs

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