All posts by Kyle Freeman

Language Regulation

“The point of traditional grammar was to demonstrate a way of thinking about grammatical problems that encouraged thoughtful attention to language, not to canonize a set of arbitrary rules and strictures”    -Nunberg

I have never been interested in grammar, and the little experience I’ve had with it has led me to ignore it until recently.  Yet there is something fascinating about the idea of fixed rules on the structure of language, and an awareness of the logic behind such rules will  undoubtedly contribute to clear writing.  I feel that in order to make  grammar interesting, (we, you, I) should explore as many perspectives possible on the subject.  If grammar can be presented in a less rigid context, students may come to consider it as a tool that examines language in order to arrive at clear expression.  Grammar should instill the purpose that, if used properly, it can enhance language to a high degree.
My aim therefore is to take the notion of grammar and integrate it into the study of the English language in a way that gives real value to its usage. In other words, present grammar as a tool within itself to be useful when (one) composes. Rather than a ‘set of arbitrary rules’ it should be seen as a way to visualize words and structure and explore variability of arrangements that constitute clear sentence construction.
Language ‘rules’ should not be the enforcer and crusher of expressional dreams. Mistakes in grammar should not be punishable by law, they should instead instigate interest into the usage of words and structures.   Grammar should focus on the actual feel of sentence construction, so that mistakes are perceived in a manner more useful than a red X.