Monday, October 23, 2006


In a tale from today's Post that might have been interesting in better hands, this stands out:

Grammarians are regarded as a rather grumpy lot. They decorate their classrooms with quotation marks rather than quotations, brood for hours over the staff memo that misuses the contraction "it's" and ply students with unpardonable puns.

And math teachers are all absent-minded! And the football coach is a closet fascist! And the drama ... uh, think we've drug enough clueless stereotypes out of our yearbook for today's front-page feature there, Pinto?

It's interesting, though, in the ongoing discussion of how journalism handles other people's science, to consider this:

Several factors -- most notably, the addition of a writing section to the SAT college entrance exam in 2005 -- have reawakened interest in Greiner's methods.

You'd think there might be some mention -- this is, after all, a 1A trender -- of what these methods are. The closest we get is a hint of what they aren't: Greiner, it should be noted, does not diagram; he prefers livelier methods.

And those might be? Well, students spend half an hour repairing broken sentences at one point.

Not much for us here. Time to go brood over apostrophes for a bit, one supposes.


Blogger Strayhorn said...

As to why we brood, here's a bumper sticker given away at a little morale excercise sponsored by my previous employer:

"Duke Appreciates It's Employees"

3:50 PM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger nicole bogdas said...

Sounds like someone's a little upset with their copy desk.

12:04 AM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Josh said...

Did you catch the twisted logic of the "livelier methods" paragraph?

"Of the 26 sophomores in his Honors English II class, six had diagrammed sentences before they met him, evidence that his brand of grammar has not reached much of the Washington region. Greiner, it should be noted, does not diagram; he prefers livelier methods."

So, the evidence that Greiner's methods are unpopular is that a method that is -not- Greiner's is unpopular? Isn't the fact that Greiner's own students would fail this test a bad sign?

3:41 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Nancy Friedman said...

I was rooting for Greiner until I read this quote: "Other teachers in this county say, 'Fix the writing, and the grammar will come along.' Not me," Greiner said. Not I, said the Little Red Hen.

11:37 PM, October 29, 2006  

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