Booking Through Thursday: Grammar

In honor of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?

More importantly, have you read them?

How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?

The only grammar and punctuation book I own is Lynn Truss’ Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, which revealed to me my personal taste for Oxford commas. It’s a very nice and definitely quick primer, although Truss gets bizarrely depressing in the last chapter. I’ve been meaning to pick up The Elements of Style, but I haven’t had a chance to.

Grammar, of course, is absolutely vital! It’s the very rules we have for speaking in any language. I’m taking a general anthropology class this semester, and we’ve learned about how a pidgin, a halting mix of languages intended to facilitate trade but little else, becomes a creole, an actual, functional language- children who grow up listening and speaking the pidgin develop grammatical rules themselves. In short, grammar makes a language. It’s wildly important.

16 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Grammar

  1. I keep meaning to pick up the Eats, Shoots & Leaves book, but …
    and THANK you for teaching me something today – I did not know the small letter word creole – I assumed Creole was the New Orleans language and didn’t realize it has a more generic universal definition.
    I’ve also learned that I am a big grammar rule violator – this comment needs some red inked correction advice.

  2. Care, Creole is not the language of New Orleans, we speak English like every other red-blooded American 😉 Very few New Orleaninians know or have even been exposed to Creole (the evolution of Old Acadian French). Go further south towards the Gulf, in the swamplands near Cut-Off, or Thibodeaux, Louisiana and you’ll find more Creole knowledge.
    Sorry to go totally off-topic, my BTT is here: http://intetextualchronicles.blogspot.com/2010/03/booking-through-thursday-grammar.html

  3. I love the history point. I like grammar but more importanrtly, I like that each language and way of speaking has developed its own rules. Thats the nature of language, though. If we don’t have rules, no one will be able to communicate.

  4. It sounds like a fascinating class. I didn’t know creole was a term relating to a language either. Like Care, I thought Creole was a langauge. Thanks. I learned something new today. 🙂

  5. I definitely agree! Even ebonics is like that – there’s an entirely different set of “rules”, which is part of why students who speak that dialect most of their lives have such trouble with “proper” English grammar.

    My response to the post is here.

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