Overheard on the local FOX news:

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Dec 6 10:59:02 UTC 2006

The second set of rules the students had to learn were the rules for
diagramming -- what goes where on what line. And she did draw a
distinction between "better" and "correct" writers -- writing
grammatically correct didn't make you a better writer. And it wasn't
that real sentences weren't ungrammatical, but rather, they made for
difficult diagramming because of their more complex nature.

I checked the story out -- Kitty Burns Florey has turned the piece
from Vocabula Review and Harper's into a book by the same title:
Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog. I haven't yet listened to the story,

---Amy West

>Date:    Tue, 5 Dec 2006 12:59:53 -0500
>From:    Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
>Subject: Re: Overheard on the local FOX news:
>But of course you CAN diagram any sentence of any language--we do it all
>the time!  The myth about diagramming making one a "better" or "more
>correct" writer would be typical of Vocabula Review, and it was expressed
>by the woman on NPR too (on one of the morning shows that Monday--Morning
>Edition, I suppose?).  But these are the people who assume that "real"
>sentences are ungrammatical--another myth, of course.  And what would that
>"second set of rules" be--unless (hopefully) just a reminder that Standard
>Written English is often stylistically different from (though no better
>than) ordinary spoken English?  This is akin to saying there's only one
>"real" way of pronouncing English!

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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