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Author Topic: Grammar is the worst thing... ever...  (Read 864 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: October 19, 2010, 11:16:22 AM »

Yup I said it... Just got finished taking my Greek test I thought I was going to easily pass... I left about 1/4 to 1/2 the test blank, everyone in the class fared the same or worse.

We were forced to take Grammar class in High School because our school had one of the lowest Grammar scores in the entire area. I still got Cs and Ds in that class. School House Rock didn't even help...

Why can't we just do away with certain details of grammar?

I still have no clue what a Pronoun is... So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article, Nominative Case, Accusative Case, Genitive Case, Declension, Enclesis, Indeclinable Nouns, Personal Pronouns, Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns, Conjugation, Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic, Adjectives, Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent, Preposition...

If I have NO CLUE what those words mean in English, how are they supposed to help me learn another language? Sad

I vote that if we teach people English or another Language, it ought to be done like they were learning it naturally growing up, not as if it's a piece of material to be studied, memorized, etc...

Thank the Lord most people in the world know English, I would be so screwed...

Besides, who actually uses proper grammar anymore?

(i'm sure i've just opened a pandoras box of heck to come my way)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:18:53 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 01:39:26 PM »

Why can't we just do away with certain details of grammar?
And bring about a crisis greater than Y2K or the Dark Ages? ? ? ? ?

Quote
I still have no clue what a Pronoun is... So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article, Nominative Case, Accusative Case, Genitive Case, Declension, Enclesis, Indeclinable Nouns, Personal Pronouns, Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns, Conjugation, Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic, Adjectives, Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent, Preposition...
That's quite an impressive list!

Quote
If I have NO CLUE what those words mean in English, how are they supposed to help me learn another language? Sad
Actually, a lot of them don't "mean" anything in English because they are not needed to describe how English is structured.

Quote
I vote that if we teach people English or another Language, it ought to be done like they were learning it naturally growing up, not as if it's a piece of material to be studied, memorized, etc...
You're quite right. Unfortunately, think how many years it took to learn English.

Quote
Thank the Lord most people in the world know English, I would be so screwed...
Not quite true. English is certainly the most widespread language - you are likely to find an English-speaking person wherever you find educated people, but Chinese and Hindi, depending on who's doing the counting, top English for total numbers of people who speak the language. I have read that there are more native speakers of Spanish than English. English comes out ahead because it's the second (or more) language for so many people.

Quote
Besides, who actually uses proper grammar anymore?
I like to think that I do, especially when I can use it to my advantage. Knowledge is power, and unfortunately easily abused.

Quote
(i'm sure i've just opened a pandoras box of heck to come my way)
You neglected to capitalize the first person singular pronoun twice, and omitted the apostrophe to indicate the possessive form of a proper noun. (Sorry, couldn't resist  police)
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 02:56:43 PM »

me uses grammer Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 02:59:36 PM »

Yup I said it... Just got finished taking my Greek test I thought I was going to easily pass... I left about 1/4 to 1/2 the test blank, everyone in the class fared the same or worse.

We were forced to take Grammar class in High School because our school had one of the lowest Grammar scores in the entire area. I still got Cs and Ds in that class. School House Rock didn't even help...


Take this from someone who used to hate grammar. I didn't get it either for years. It wasn't until I took Latin in high school that my perspective changed and it all started to click. Because of that, taking German in college was far easier for me.

One of the hardest parts of taking a class is perspective. It's easy to get frustrated. When you get frustrated you make excuses. Don't ever use the failings of others to justify your own. That's advice that's not just for classwork.

Why can't we just do away with certain details of grammar?

I still have no clue what a Pronoun is... So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article, Nominative Case, Accusative Case, Genitive Case, Declension, Enclesis, Indeclinable Nouns, Personal Pronouns, Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns, Conjugation, Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic, Adjectives, Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent, Preposition...

If I have NO CLUE what those words mean in English, how are they supposed to help me learn another language? Sad

A pronoun takes the place of a noun. (he, she, it) Without that understanding, you have no frame of reference(base on which to build) for another language, nor are you able to learn the higher intricacies of your own. These classes aren't a means in themselves, but a platform to open you doors to higher learning. 

Besides, linguistics can be a very fascinating window on a people's culture. Because the language reflects the people. Ever notice that English doesn't decline our nouns? We use syntax (sentence placement) to reflect the meaning of the word. English rarely conjugates it's verbs, but that wasn't always true either. Notice how 'old English' sounds different? Anyways, I'm digressing.


I vote that if we teach people English or another Language, it ought to be done like they were learning it naturally growing up, not as if it's a piece of material to be studied, memorized, etc...

That is often the method for learning a spoken language... Once you understand the basics. But you will never truly know a language, unless you're able to identify 'why' you use the word the way you do. If you can't answer why, you'll always 'sound' odd... Because you'll be doing it wrong. 

Thank the Lord most people in the world know English, I would be so screwed...

Besides, who actually uses proper grammar anymore?

(i'm sure i've just opened a pandoras box of heck to come my way)

I've been to a few places. Allowing other people in the world to control the language is a bad disadvatage to have. Also, though many may "speak" English, that doesn't mean they speak it well. I've had a 10 minute conversation on simple instructions before, because the accent that they learned English, was not 'truly' English.

Besides, the better you speak you own language, the more intelligent people assume you are. That's useful for jobs, leading, or simply trying to get your point across. Take me, for example, I sound like a retard!  Grin 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:03:45 PM by Azurestone » Logged


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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 02:59:45 PM »

Quote
I still have no clue what a Pronoun is... So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article, Nominative Case, Accusative Case, Genitive Case, Declension, Enclesis, Indeclinable Nouns, Personal Pronouns, Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns, Conjugation, Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic, Adjectives, Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent, Preposition...
These are mostly logical categories meant to parse down the structure of a language, revealing its patterns.
It is too bad that American kids are not taught in school-starting in the elementary-these basic concepts that, when mastered, make the acquisition of new languages way easier and more solid.
We started studying grammar in the third or fourth grade and continued all the way to the twelfth.
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 03:05:55 PM »

Quote
I still have no clue what a Pronoun is... So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article, Nominative Case, Accusative Case, Genitive Case, Declension, Enclesis, Indeclinable Nouns, Personal Pronouns, Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns, Conjugation, Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic, Adjectives, Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent, Preposition...
These are mostly logical categories meant to parse down the structure of a language, revealing its patterns.
It is too bad that American kids are not taught in school-starting in the elementary-these basic concepts that, when mastered, make the acquisition of new languages way easier and more solid.
We started studying grammar in the third or fourth grade and continued all the way to the twelfth.

We are. I remember grammar classes in the first grade. I remember truly hating it by the third.    Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 03:07:55 PM »

Woe is I.
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 03:32:23 PM »

I still have no clue what a Pronoun is...

"I," "you," "they," "we" etc. - those are pronouns. But I would have a hard time, too, if I were asked to define a pronoun.

So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article,

"The" in English, "le, la, les" in French, "(h)o" in Greek...

Nominative Case,

When the noun answers the question, "what?" or "who?". For example, in the sentence, 'this is a table" the word "table" is in the nominative case, as opposed to the word "table's" in the sentence, 'this table's top is painted brown (possessive case).


Accusative Case,

Answering the question, "what do I 'accuse" (or otherwise "treat")?" (like in the sentence, "I paint the the table"). In the so-called analytical language (like English), the endings of nouns may not change in different cases. In the so-called "synthetic" languages, like Greek, latin, or Slavic languages) the ending may depend on the case. For example, the word "table" in the nominative case will be "stil" in Ukrainian, but "stola" in the accusative case ("I paint a table" will be "ja farbuju stola").


Genitive Case,

Answering the question, "whose?" In English, the genitive case may be expressed through the possissive case ("the table's leg), or through the preposition 'of" (the leg of the table").
 
Declension,

Change of endings according to the case. For example, the word "stil" (table) in Ukrainian is declined like this: nom., stil; gen.; stola; dat., stolu (or stolovi); accus., stola; locat., stolom; instr., (na, v, u) stoli.

Enclesis,

Sorry, don't know this one.

Indeclinable Nouns,

Nouns that cannot be declined. For example, in the Russian language nouns borrowed from foreign languages and ending with a vocal are not declined (for example, words like "cinema" or "metro" remain as if they are in nominativus regardless of the actual case).


Personal Pronouns,

Again, "I," "he," "you," etc., but I am not sure how to give a formal definition.

Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns,

Sorry, gotta pass on these.Smiley

Conjugation,

Again this is something that is not common to analytical languages like English. Conjugation is, basically, a change in the ending of the VERB depending on who is acting (I, you, he, they, us). For example, in Ukrainian "I go" will be "Ja idu," and you go" will be "ty idesh."

Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic,

Pass. Smiley
 
Adjectives,

Words expressing qualities, like "red," "beautiful," "angry" etc.

 
Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent,

Pass. Smiley


Preposition...

"In," "on," "at," "into," ""up," "down," etc.

Besides, who actually uses proper grammar anymore?

I guess no one. Nowadays it's mostly like u no dat stuf is not 4 u & it is b side da pont. Quite a lot of my students seriously believe that they wrote stuff quite correctly when they wrote, "hormones is secrete." Smiley
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:32:49 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2010, 05:30:05 PM »

Yup I said it... Just got finished taking my Greek test I thought I was going to easily pass... I left about 1/4 to 1/2 the test blank, everyone in the class fared the same or worse.

We were forced to take Grammar class in High School because our school had one of the lowest Grammar scores in the entire area. I still got Cs and Ds in that class. School House Rock didn't even help...

Why can't we just do away with certain details of grammar?

I still have no clue what a Pronoun is... So I have no chance of knowing what these are: Definite Article, Nominative Case, Accusative Case, Genitive Case, Declension, Enclesis, Indeclinable Nouns, Personal Pronouns, Emphatic Forms, Determiners, Interrogative Pronouns, Conjugation, Defective Verbs, Impersonal Verbs, Deponent Verbs, First-Conjugation, Second-Conjugation, Passive, Diacritics, Intonation, Parisyllabic, Imparisyllabic, Adjectives, Superlative, Relative Superlative, Absolute Superlative, Antecedent, Preposition...

If I have NO CLUE what those words mean in English, how are they supposed to help me learn another language? Sad

I vote that if we teach people English or another Language, it ought to be done like they were learning it naturally growing up, not as if it's a piece of material to be studied, memorized, etc...

Thank the Lord most people in the world know English, I would be so screwed...

Besides, who actually uses proper grammar anymore?

(i'm sure i've just opened a pandoras box of heck to come my way)

I can help. I've been teaching English since 1997, and my B.A. is in Language and Literature. I might have to do some wikipedian-search to remember some concepts from classical languages, but I can quickly remember.

For starters, you have to differentiate the technical jargon of Linguistics and Grammar from language itself. It's with the jargon people get more trouble with. As any technical language, it exists to *help*, not to complicate. It makes things easier if you start to understand what those words mean.

For example: pronoun comes from "pro" and "noun". "Noun" comes from "name", just a sister form. "Pro" means "instead of".

So "pronoun" is the word that you use "instead of a name", literally. You have to remember that these words were created by people who actually enjoy language (and old languages) with the same enthusiasm the ordinary person loves baseball or soccer. So that's why they keep old Latin or Greek forms for the names of their concepts.

Back to the "instead of names", the pronouns. In English you have these:

I - me - my - mine - they all substitute *your* name.

You - you - your - yours (for one person)

He - him - his - his

She - her - her - hers

It - its - its - its

We - us - our - ours

You - you - your - yours (for more than one person)

They - their - theirs - theirs

Notice that all these words are used to substitute names, they are used "instead of(pro) names(nouns)", they are pronouns.

If you are following me until here, we can now expand the concept of what a "name" is. In usual language, it's just the names of people, places, etc.

In grammatical technical jargon, a "name" is every word that "names" *something*:

table, John, love, race, puppies, God, armpit, Nevada, mountains are all words that are *names* of the "objects" they refer to. So a "noun" is any word that you use to *name* anything.

Because a "name" has a slightly different sense from what the word "name" means in usual language, we call it "noun" - just a technical form for "name".

Notice that if we use a pronoun, and we didn't mention the *name* before, than we don't know what we're talking about. See, this sentence:

"They broke it."

Who are they? What did they break? In this sentence alone, we can't know, because "they" and "it" are used *instead of* nouns, but nobody mentioned what they are being used instead of.

Now see this.

"I bought a bottle of milk for the cats, but they broke it."

Now, "they broke it" makes sense. We know that "they" was used instead of "cats" and "it" was used instead of "bottle of milk". That is what pronouns are for: to avoid repeating names. See how cumbersome would the sentence be without pronouns: "I bought a bottle of milk for the cats, but the cats broke the bottle of milk". That repetition sounds bad and it *is* stylistically bad. The name for unnecessary repetitions in linguistic technical jargon is "redundancy".

Notice too, that you *already* grasp the concept, because nobody would ever need to explain what "they" and "it" refer to in that sentence. You only didn't know the technical language of grammar. I hope that has changed up to this point. Smiley

If you acquire a certain domain of that technical language, it will allow you to better shape your own language, because this jargon will be your tools. Just like an athlete has to master his tools - ball, bat, water, whatever it may be - to perform beautiful moves and strike points, we can express ourselves better, impress more and prevent being fooled by false arguments if we master the tools of language.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 05:42:14 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2010, 05:31:41 PM »

If you want easy grammar, learn Chinese.
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2010, 05:32:34 PM »

Quote
Grammar is the worst thing... ever...

I feel your pain. I do fine in English classes that focus on writing, but ask me to explain any of the terms you mentioned in the OP and I'm screwed.
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 07:22:56 PM »

Don't complain about English grammar, it's a piece of cake compared to the rigidity and Teutonic order of German grammar. Not only the gender declensions and grammatical cases must be correct, but so should the order of words in the sentence. Get it wrong, and it sounds like gibberish.
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 09:46:07 AM »

I feel it is my duty to take you under my and Mr. Y's grammarian wings as we both have degrees in English. Wink  Seriously, if you need some help, feel free to call or PM us.  We've had a hard time getting to liturgy lately but we'd be happy to provide some assistance/tutoring whenever you need it.  I also took some Koine Greek (I know, is outrage) in college and still have my reference books, dictionaries, etc. upon which to fall back (Wink).
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 10:16:17 AM »

I guess no one. Nowadays it's mostly like u no dat stuf is not 4 u & it is b side da pont. Quite a lot of my students seriously believe that they wrote stuff quite correctly when they wrote, "hormones is secrete." Smiley

*cringe*

That is depressing that some of your students do not understand singular/plural nor the use of the past tense in that phrase (I can't call it a sentence).

Your explanations were excellent, Heorhij.  Smiley
Frankly, I was taught grammar by my parents, my grandmother who lived with us (she had been a librarian) and at school and when I made an error such as "Friends-name and me did..." I was corrected at once that it was "and I".  I do it to my children and they roll their eyes but that's too bad.   Wink

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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 02:47:26 PM »

My grammar was really bad, but my grampar was nice. Cheesy
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