Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

Grammar Bitch History

The thing with me and grammar/proper usage is that I was raised that way. FatherSir went out of his way to speak correctly around swallowtayle and me, and insisted that others do so as well. Until I was perhaps four or five, he attempted to ban the word "Yeah" in the household, and insisted on "Yes" instead.

I was not raised knowing the names of the grammatical rules that I was following, but I followed them. In school, we were not taught the names of the rules that I remember, and in any case, I didn't feel that I needed to know the names of the rules that I already knew. My elementary school had many grammar lessons in the form of "Find what is wrong with this sentence." I aced it, and must have resembled Hermione Granger with the hand-waggling and "Oooh, pick me!"

I aced the ITBS grammar sections at 99th percentile or similar in fourth through sixth grade, and came out of the SATs with a respectable 640 (I think -- I got a 1070 all told, and I was lower in maths, with a 430 IIRC) in the seventh grade. (And this was when the SAT scores were not readjusted to account for the lower scores that students had been pulling. My ex's ex-stepdad had come out of the SATs in high school and felt he had done well with a lower score than I had gotten five years younger and felt I hadn't performed up to specs.)

There was nothing new taught of grammar in high school. We were never given the names of the rules. We were expected to already know this stuff, and when we didn't, we were given a quick "Don't do it like this, you idiots!" summary before charging on to the formulation of an essay, how to write an argument and support it, how to research, and how to understand literature.

I think it sad that my college teachers in English 101 had to spend two weeks re-inventing the wheel at the beginning of the term, covering the grammatical concepts that I'd mastered by the 7th grade.

I don't know the names of the rules, and I couldn't tell you what subjective or objective case is, much less diagram the parts of a sentence any more. (We did learn, in the third grade, about the parts of a sentence, but most of those have left my brain because I didn't find them important enough to hang on to when I already knew most of what was going on without the labels on the anatomy.) But when some of the rules are violated, my eyes bleed, and then I take that out on the rest of the class.

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