Wednesday, July 07, 2004

On Language - part 1

Sometimes when I think of what every law school student has in common, the only thing I can think of is that we are all probably wordsmiths, or, as my girlfriend might say, stylists who need a job. I imagine every lawyer has said, as least on one occasion, that the pen is mightier than the sword. Of course, then there are lawyers like John Kerry who seem to be able to wield either quite competently.

Ever wonder your own mastery of English grammar? I remember when I first started teaching English, my Japanese counterpart assumed that I knew all the rules of grammar.
Her: We're so lucky to have a native English speaker in the classroom kids! Now, in this lesson we're going to learn when to use the gerund and when to use the infinitive. Oh, why don't we let the Canadian explain it for us?
Me: . . . Um, yeah, um, well Miss Nantoka-sensei. . . could I see your textbook for a second?
You know, just cause someone can speak English doesn't mean they can explain it. Thankfully, I learned a thing or two about English grammar.

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Concept of the Day: The Prisoner's Dilemma (I'm feeling all naustalgic for my days studying Philosophy.)


At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ack - gerund vs. inifinitive? I'm out of my league. You'll be a handy person to track down during essay writing time next year. (Actually, my GF is a grammar god too, which I imagine will come in handy). I tried that test and ended up a Master.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger The Tiger said...

I know what one is and what the other is, but I'm damned if I know the proper rules for their use. I just go with what sounds right and occasionally steal constructions from other languages.

(Still, I think we're headed for a time in which English grammar is descriptive rather than prescriptive.)


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