Friday 6 May 2016

David Crystal talks about 'traditional grammar'

"All too often, in the traditional grammars, insufficient reasons were given for making a particular sentence analysis. As a consequence, it was common to find children learning analyses and definitions off by heart, without any real understanding of what was going on. In particular, they had to master the cumbersome Latin-based terminology as an end in it itself...and apply it to examples of language that were either artificially constructed, or taken from abstruse language.

It was all at a considerable remove from the child's real language world, as found in conversation or the media. Little attempt was made to demonstrate the practical usefulness of grammatical analysis in the child's daily life, whether in school or outside."

('How Language Works' David Crystal 2005)