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Grammar and Usage

A Prezi geared toward HS English II, exploring the differences between grammar, usage, mechanics, and conventions.
by

Andrew Hollinger

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of Grammar and Usage

A dot at the end of a sentence.
"Grammar" is just a dot.
What is "grammar"?
Turn to your shoulder partner, and quickly decide what a good definition of "grammar" is.
In 1954, W. Nelson Francis gave us three definitions of what we mean when we say, "grammar."
1.
"The set of formal patterns in which the words of a language are arranged in order to convey larger meanings." This happens unconsciously inside your head.
English is a subject-verb-object language.

Mr. Hollinger loves English.
S
V
O
2.
"The branch of linguistic science which is concerned with the description, analysis, and formalization of formal language patterns."
3.
"Linguistic etiquette"
Another smart guy, Patrick Hartwell, more recently added two more definitions.
4.
5.
"school grammar"
"stylistic grammar"
Here's the deal:
Grammar 1, you can't do anything about
Grammar 2, interesting as a subject; but requires years of study
Grammar 3, will dog you the rest of your life
Grammar 4, is like Grammar 2 "LITE," which allows us to better understand Grammar 3
Grammar 5, interesting because it means you can adopt a grammar for writing in
We'll learn how to figure out what the etiquette is for each writing situation. A better term for this is "usage."
(grammar 3)
Parts of speech, phrases and clauses, objects, (in)transitive verbs, reflexive pronouns -- the whole lot.
(grammar 4)
In addition to talking about style, we'll include the Greek syntactical devices in our
grammar 5.
Why might knowing "grammar" be important?
Let's get some answers on that...
1.
Knowing about grammar doesn't necessarily make you a better writer.
BUT
2.
Knowing grammar can keep you from breaking etiquette.
3.
Grammar (linguistics) is a vibrant field of study.
4.
Understanding how language works, allows one lots of flexibility (often, cleverness and humor are the results of playing with the expectations an audience has of language).
Remember this: You can still be a great writer and a smart person if you have trouble with grammar. In many situations . . .
So don't worry if it takes a while to get it. Grammar is just a part of writing. It doesn't make or break a writer.
What do you think?
a) _________
b) _________
c) the thing that makes writing hard
d) [what else?]
}
(he's a linguist)
some things to know about the g-word
(another linguist)
Full transcript