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Je suis Omar

Did teaching grammar make us stupid?

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Many of the very ones you've learned, BM.

But it seems everyone is so terribly frightened that they're going to find out that their favorite uncle is a pedophile.

Well how about we just string random words together into sentences with no recogniizable structure, or are sentences themselves one of your "false" rules? Maybe it's about time you started making some sense.

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How come no one can recall any of those oh so important grammar rules they learned in high school/university/life as a reporter,editor, ... ?

And how could someone say that the rules are false when they can't even give an example of the rules?

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Why is there such great difficulty providing just one example of all the "grammar rules" we supposedly learned in school?

I ask the same question and yet receive no response. Funny that.

To help you out, seeing as you can't argue your own point, the only grammar rule that I recall being "false" is that one should not split infinitives. But even that one has its place, as it often makes for clearer writing. Otherwise, they're all perfectly logical rules that you follow yourself. You just didn't understand them when they were explained to you, so you think they must be rubbish.

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I learned that a sentence should start with a capital letter. It should also be punctuated at the end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. What's wrong with that one?

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I learned about nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs, but those aren't so much rules as names for types of words...

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I learned that commas are hard to get right all the time, but ultimately they help the reader understand what's being said. So, again, what's the problem?

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I learned that a sentence should start with a capital letter. It should also be punctuated at the end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. What's wrong with that one?

Nothing at all, BM, but it's not grammar.

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I learned about nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs, but those aren't so much rules as names for types of words...

You learned the names of the words that you already knew were nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs. How do you think you did that as a wee child?

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You learned the names of the words that you already knew were nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs. How do you think you did that as a wee child?

Yes, you can understand what an adjective is without knowing it's called an adjective. But when we use language, we tend to provide such concepts with a name for future reference and common understanding. It's just what we do.

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"Canadian" is not a language, jbg.

It is one of Canada's official languages, along with French and English. Jean Chretien famously and frequently spoke that language, example, "a proof is a proof is a proof is a proof."

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What is grammar if not the basic rules of how to construct a sentence?

Now that is grammar! But capitals, punctuation, spelling are not grammar.

But again, the notion that you learn/are taught grammar and the rules of grammar in school are a truly fatuous notion. You came to school fully equipped with all the rules.

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stamp="1430269188"]You learned the names of the words that you already knew were nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs. How do you think you did that as a wee child?

You weren't born knowing how to speak, you learned to use them by listening to people who were taught those rules.

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stamp="1430269188"]You learned the names of the words that you already knew were nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs. How do you think you did that as a wee child?

You weren't born knowing how to speak, you learned to use them by listening to people who were taught those rules.

Nobody is ever taught "those rules", Wilber. Again that's a fatuous notion, albeit a commonly held fatuous notion. You only have to look at how no one has been able to describe a rule they learned.

How do you think such incompetence could be the foundation of one of the most complex things humans do?

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You weren't born knowing how to speak, you learned to use them by listening to people who were taught those rules.

Nobody is ever taught "those rules", Wilber. Again that's a fatuous notion, albeit a commonly held fatuous notion. You only have to look at how no one has been able to describe a rule they learned.

How do you think such incompetence could be the foundation of one of the most complex things humans do?

You have been given several examples by several people, they can't help it if you are too dense to comprehend them.

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You only have to look at how no one has been able to describe a rule they learned.

I learned a proper sentence must have a subject, which includes a noun, and a predicate that includes a verb. But whatever.

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I learned a proper sentence must have a subject, which includes a noun, and a predicate that includes a verb. But whatever.

Get outta here!

Go to bed.

Eat your spinach.

Where's the subject in those three sentences, BM? The stuff that is taught about English is so bloody simplistic that it is laughable.

You, like all users of a language, know, intuitively, all the exceedingly complex rules that make up the English language or any language.

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I ask the same question and yet receive no response. Funny that.

To help you out, seeing as you can't argue your own point, the only grammar rule that I recall being "false" is that one should not split infinitives. But even that one has its place, as it often makes for clearer writing. Otherwise, they're all perfectly logical rules that you follow yourself.

Finally, after how many pages, you have come up with one of the bogus rules, BM. Good on you!

The split infinitive is a dandy example of something that was never a rule of English.

Edited by Je suis Omar

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Get outta here!

Go to bed.

Eat your spinach.

Where's the subject in those three sentences, BM? The stuff that is taught about English is so bloody simplistic that it is laughable.

You, like all users of a language, know, intuitively, all the exceedingly complex rules that make up the English language or any language.

I hoped you would be clever enough to catch my use of "but whatever" as a sentence, which was a better example than the sentences you provided, which all have an implied subject from the context---that is, "you"---and and implied verb---that is, "ought to."

It's true that you don't need to understand how these sentences work to use and understand them. It's also true that you don't have to understand what a Cm7 chord is to appreciate its harmonics or to even play it on a guitar (you can just think of it as a C, an Eb, and a Bb played all at once instead). That's not an argument against knowing chords though, just as you aren't making a logical argument against understanding grammar.

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Finally, after how many pages, you have come up with one of the bogus rules, BM. Good on you!

The split infinitive is a dandy example of something that was never a rule of English.

Now you come up with one. I know you can't!

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I hoped you would be clever enough to catch my use of "but whatever" as a sentence, which was a better example than the sentences you provided, which all have an implied subject from the context---that is, "you"---and and implied verb---that is, "ought to."

I did notice your "but whatever", BM. All these implied parts of speech :)

"eat/get/..." suffice as verbs and they weren't even implied.

It's true that you don't need to understand how these sentences work to use and understand them. It's also true that you don't have to understand what a Cm7 chord is to appreciate its harmonics or to even play it on a guitar (you can just think of it as a C, an Eb, and a Bb played all at once instead). That's not an argument against knowing chords though, just as you aren't making a logical argument against understanding grammar.

That's the point, you, that is the vast majority, don't understand grammar at all, in a conscious sense. The nonsense you are taught in school is just that, nonsense, incredibly simplistic drivel.

If the school system taught anything of value on English grammar, there'd have been some lively discussion.

As you may have noticed there has been precious little. Odd when so many have been schooled for so long.

50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

...

April 16 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of a little book that is loved and admired throughout American academe. Celebrations, readings, and toasts are being held, and a commemorative edition has been released.

I won't be celebrating.

The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students' grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it.

- See more at: http://m.chronicle.com/article/50-Years-of-Stupid-Grammar/25497#sthash.ngmk46SB.dpuf

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