Making Sense

Making Sense

The Glamorous Story of English Grammar

Book - 2017
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In Making Sense, David Crystal confronts the foe of many: grammar. Once taught relentlessly to all students in the English-speaking world, grammar disappeared from most school curricula, so that terms such as "preposition" and "conjunction" now often confound children and adults alike. Explaining the nuts and bolts of grammar presents a special challenge, because - far more than is the case with spelling and punctuation - the subject is burdened with a centuries-old history of educational practice that many will recall as anything but glamorous. One of the world's foremostauthorities on the English language, Crystal sets out to rid grammar of its undeserved reputation as a dry and intimidating subject, pointing out how essential grammar is to clear and effective speech and writing. He moves briskly through the stages by which children acquire grammar, along the waydemystifying grammar's rules and irregularities and showing us how to navigate its snares and pitfalls. He offers the fascinating history of grammar, explaining how it has evolved from the first grammarians in ancient Greece to our 21st century digital environment of blogging, emailing, and texting. Many find grammar to be a daunting subject, but in this breezy, entertaining book, Crystal proves that grammar doesn't need to make us uneasy - we can all make sense of how we make sense.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Oxford University Press,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780190660574
Call Number: 425 C8898m
Characteristics: xvii, 281 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jul 03, 2018

The clarity and orderliness of this book is beyond compare; and its not boring as a result either! The principles of grammar are each slowly unveiled using examples from initial language acquisition by children, including the memories of the author's own child and her learning. The book is explanatory without being didactic, referring to properties of natural language rather than to "rules", indeed, the rules and practices of the past are (including principles of language change with respect to grammar) a recurring quality of this book. Even grammar of influential (influential on English and past thought about the grammar of English) dead languages are given there respect: Latin and its odd cases (accusative, ablative, vocative, etc.) are briefly explained. And he does with a few doses of humour! (among the funniest is on pages 172-3). There is an appendix for teaching and testing grammar, as well as a further reading guide, including websites.

Oct 13, 2017

fascinating in the way it makes you aware of how you write and use English. Well worth the money and time to read it.


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