Friday, November 9, 2012
This blog has discussed schools’ poor grammar coverage before, but a recent incident dramatizes the problem. A student who is a native speaker of English told me she doesn’t know grammar. I thought perhaps she had forgotten some arcane rule, but she said she was never taught grammar as she went through the public school system. She explained, “I think I know what a noun is, but I don’t know what a pronoun is. Is it like a preposition?” I was taken aback. I tell my students that a pronoun should agree with a nearby antecedent, and I’ve posted a pronoun exercise on line. But I did not think a graduate student would have no idea what a pronoun is.