teaching grammar stops violence

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun Dec 17 16:42:52 UTC 2006

On Dec 16, 2006, at 9:06 PM, Dennis Baron wrote:

> There's a new post on the Web of Language:  "Teaching grammar stops
> violence."
> "Teaching grammar stops violence.  French Minister of Education
> Gilles de Robien insists that his new initiative to improve grammar
> teaching in French schools will actually avert a repeat of the riots
> that took place in the fall of 2005, when immigrant teenagers ran
> through the streets night after night looting stores, attacking
> police, and burning thousands of cars. ... "
> read more about it on the Web of Language

warning: the original report looks genuine, but the rest of it (all
of it unlinked to sources) looks like joshing.  some very funny

from Margaret Spellings:
  “Bring formal grammar back to the classroom,” she predicted, “and
you’ll have angry mobs of teachers overturning cars in the parking
lot and torching them.”
   “Those grammarians hate freedom,” she concluded.

from Bob Gates:
  “Just make those insurgents diagram some sentences,” Gates told the
senators at his confirmation hearing, “and they’ll will throw down
their guns and throw up their hands.

from Shrub:
  he chided Secretary Spellings at a recent cabinet meeting, those
French rioters were mostly Muslim, weren’t they?  “They write from
right to left over there,” he added. “Did you know that?”

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

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