Sunday, September 9, 2012

What I have learned so far, that intrigues me the most, is the idea that writers can use punctuation to lead their readers from phrase to phrase, from the beginning of a sentence to ITS end. Writers can then make sentences longer and longer without losing the reader WHOSE attention span may be only as long as a single phrase between two commas.

When Barbara asked us to stretch ourselves into creating longer sentences, I thought it would be a difficult task, but with the use of coordinating conjunctions, adverbial phrases and THEIR ilk, it is not hard to get from the first capital letter to the period and use up three lines of text.

Learning about Dora's progression through different stages of period placement was interesting.  I was glad that she would never regress to putting periods between each word once she had moved on to end of the page periods, etc. Of course, that may have changed for her when she got old enough to read e.e. cummings.

What else have I learned? I teach English as a Second Language at WSU, and I decided to take this class so I could somehow answer certain questions more clearly about our convoluted language. There are actually times when I've heard myself saying, "It just sounds right!" Not a very profound reply, so I'm here to learn how to answer questions that are about grammar ITS very own self.  

All in all, I am learning what it's like to be a student again in a class with such an array of intelligent young people. I have really enjoyed hearing what they have to say during the Socratic seminars. If anything, what I am most learning is how to listen with fresh appreciation of the way OUR minds work and interweave.

 These are my thoughts.You can have YOURN. :)

1 comment:

  1. actually, "because it sounds right" may be precisely the right thing to say. Non-native speakers need to know that speaking natively means learning what does sound right--an intuitive feel rather than a strictly intellectual one. Or put another way, not everything has a "rule," because language doesn't follow rules; rules attempt to describe language, but can never completely succeed because language is too dynamic in practice.