Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Good Grammar - A Dying Art?

There is, without a doubt, a persnickety English teacher in me. These days I find mistakes everywhere yet cannot complain because some are just personal opinion.

What I despise most is the dangling participle. This is so prominent that I hear or read it on a weekly basis. Respected authors are even guilty. Read this and tell me what you think: Basted during the cooking process, you should find your chicken breasts juicy and delicious.

Exactly who got basted? That sentence reads like the cook did. Maybe it’s suggesting that the chef drink so much wine during the cooking process that dried out chicken merely tasted juicy and delicious. The English language certainly contains enough euphemisms for drunkenness.

Anyway, I know that texting and Twitter have made my battle virtually unwinnable. This is just another example of how I am basically a walking, talking relic. But who knows? Maybe if I live long enough I will see a turnaround.

May I should start a crusade. What do you think?

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6 comments:

  1. I'm here via the A-Z Challenge and I agree with you. I was reading our local newspaper this morning and was appalled at how many errors there were.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Helen! It's a shame, isn't it? And the fact some kids aren't even learning cursive writing anymore really floors me.

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  2. "Basted during the cooking process, you should find your chicken breasts juicy and delicious." -- This sentence is funny!

    I've been studying English as a foreign language, which seems to make me more sensitive to English grammar. -- I keep wondering if my sentences are accurate or not when I'm speaking in a foreign language. -- I hope my comment is grammatically correct.

    Letters from the Land of Cherry Blossoms

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    1. You worded your comment beautifully, Romi. Thank you for visiting!

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  3. I totally think we should do a workshop together on diagramming sentences, only make it fun and graphic arty, rather than punitive. But I think that process taught me more about language structure than any other grammar instruction I've received. That, and the book I was assigned in college, "English Grammar for Students of Russian." Apparently, students studying Russian (particularly Americans) had such abysmal grammar to begin with, and Russian is grammatically so different, that an entire book was needed to bring us up to speed. :)

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    1. That sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks so much for sharing. And I like your idea doing a workshop.

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Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Hearing from readers adds immensely to my joy of writing!