Chronicle article on sentence diagramming

Matthew Gordon gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri May 15 19:21:55 UTC 2009

There's a kinda interesting piece in the Chronicle of Higher Ed (5/15/09)
about a sentence diagramming class at Trinity College. The tastefully
understated name of the class is "Constructing Thought," and it is/was
taught by Lucy Ferriss, a novelist and literary scholar. Of course the
diagrams in question are the traditional Reed-Kellogg type. The appeal of
the course is attributed to the fact that it offers "finite, ordered
solutions" and thus an alternative view on English to what some students
have gotten from their prior education, which is some cases allowed them to
write with "invented spelling."

Anyway, the article describes a diagramming contest that the class held and
the teacher is got help in judging it from the author of the textbook she
used. So she notes," it isn't just my doing the judging." I thought this was
a nice hypercorrect use of possessive (my) before an -ing form.

The American Dialect Society -

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