Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sentence diagramming makes a come back - sort of

File under "Hey!  I remember that!"  The Chronicle of Higher Ed is reporting on a Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) English Prof who teaches a course in sentence diagramming in a manner that has post-adolescent college students more psyched than the "Real Housewives of Orange County" at a free Botox clinic.

What's Professor Ferriss' secret?   She has a theory:

'They've begun to suspect that something is missing in their education. The teacher is writing 'dangling participle' in the margin, and they have not got a clue what it means.'

And whether her students are diagramming Henry James or an amendment to the Constitution, such rigorous exercises offer finite, ordered solutions that students find pleasing, she says. 'It's like a course in learning to play Scrabble. It is a game.'

'This is not a regular English class,' says Lorenzo Sewanan, a first-year student from New York City. 'It's logical, structured. It really showed order in the English language, and I loved it for that reason.'

You can read the rest of the story here.

I am the scholarship dude.


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