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I Was Just Thinking...


Grammar books were important in my school




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Lois Wauson is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
November 8, 2011 | 2,074 views | 2 comments

I was just thinking how reading and writing are so unimportant these days. And especially writing good English, and good grammar seems to not be taught now. I can't remember what grade I was when I learned to diagram sentences. I know it was in grammar school.

I have an old book, one of my collection of antique or old books. It is over 100 years old. The book is called Higher Lessons in English, a work on English grammar and composition. It was first published in 1877, and the copy I have was published in 1885. It appears to be a textbook for higher grades like colleges. There are 165 chapters and the last chapter is “How to write a theme”. I gently hold it in my hand and look at the name written on the inside cover ... or names. The names are W.M. Adair, Antonito Cola, May 15 -- 1894. I am wondering who they were and what was the higher level school they were in. Was it a high school or college? It has been written in and marked in so I know it was well used.

This is one of my treasures. I looked through it this morning and had a great time remembering the times when I was young and I loved school and anticipated the time when we would have grammar - as it was called in Kasper School, the little country school I attended for 9 years. I went to Poth High School for three years and graduated there - a little high school with 52 students total in Poth, Texas! Mr. Klaus was my English teacher and I liked him and liked English and made good grades in the subject.

As I read through the old book today, it got me to thinking. I wonder why people do not use good grammar these days. I notice that so much. Many high school kids these days do not know good grammar, and don’t speak good English or write good English. Is it because they don’t teach it any more? It has been so long since my children and grandchildren were in high school, I don’t remember. I think my children were taught good English and grammar. All four of them like to read and are all good writers. The four of them could write a book, I am sure. But my grandchildren, I don’t know. A few of them like to read books. But do they like to write? I hope so. The days of letter writing are long gone.No one writes letters any more. Even my e-mail letters from people are getting few and far between. I loved it in the old days when we so looked forward to the mailman to see if we got a letter! It is so personal to read a letter that the mailman has delivered to your mailbox.

I have several pet peeves. I imagine lots of people have their pet peeves. One of mine is that people do not like to read or write or know how to write with good grammar. Why is that? And the young people that talk on cell phones, or by texting or even on Facebook, do not use good grammar or English. They shorten words by abbreviating them, so they look like gibberish. I guess it is a sort of shorthand. Good Lord, we are becoming an illiterate people here in America!

Remember when we had to diagram sentences? I loved to diagram sentences. Does anyone still remember the difference between a subject and predicate? Or a noun and a pronoun? Or a verb or adverb? A verb denotes action, being or the state of being. Words like walk, dance, talk, and work are action verbs. Adverb is a word used to modify a verb. Or describe the verb. It is so interesting to me. I guess I am strange that way. Probably people think it is boring. But I don’t care. I love it.

I think I will go diagram a sentence now. Hope I remember what a prepositional phrase is or a dangling participle! But I do know how to conjugate a verb! And diagram a sentence! But that may be a mystery to some people. I think they will call this generation the Lost Generation.
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Lois Wauson  
Floresville, TX  
November 8, 2011 9:47am
 
 
After I wrote this, and sent it in, I read it again and saw that my English is not good! Maybe I should have had someone diagram the sentences and check it to make sure I ... Read More Read More
 
 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
November 8, 2011 9:14am
 
 
New blog post.
 

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