Do You Know the Shortcut to Good Grammar?

I started out thinking I might want to explain why all the folks griping about grammar (and punctuation and spelling) on the internet need to relax.  Look, I love grammar too (it is so cool to get at meaning / change meaning by looking at how words fit together)…but if your goal is for people to use good grammar, why not use the greatest shortcut available?

The greatest shortcut is our own instinct for language.  Here is an example of an article that explain the innate and consistent ‘basics’ of grammar hard-wired into all of us.

Article: Good Grammar in All of Us (ABC News)

It is innate and instinctive…in fact, evolution has a really hard time explaining how a language instinct would ever develop.  Pinker even admits that if evolution (gradualism in his view) isn’t true, then there MUST be a GOD!  Ockham’s Razor (in my view) also suggests to me that GOD is the answer to this one.  He is the simplest explanation.  He clearly designed us for communication….which includes grammar, of course.

When students start to discover that they can figure out what is ‘right’ (which means it works / makes sense) with their own internal sense of language–apart from knowing the rules consciously— or they grow a kind of confidence that invites them to see what else can be done with words.  Often this same experience blossoms into asking, “I wonder why it works that way?”  Getting curious about something one innately knows becomes real motivation that can last a lifetime.

Why not first show a student that he already knows a lot about language…then show him how folks have recorded the rules he already uses?

Of course, reading good material helps us learn in the same way splashing in the water leads to better swimming skills.

Hope this helps,

 

Dr. Fred Lybrand

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Fred Ray Lybrand
 

Dr. Lybrand and his wife (Jody) of 34 years homeschooled their 5 children from birth to college, where they all excelled in academics and community (University of Texas & Abilene Christian). With their combined degrees (2 BA's, 2 Masters, 1 Doctorate), Fred and Jody have stuck with their faith and their obsession with practical learning. As a result, the overall theme of "Teaching Them to Learn How to Learn" invades everything they offer. Dr. Lybrand pastored for 25 years and currently coaches, consults, and trains businesses, churches, and non-profits. Among his client list are the U.S. Air Force, CRU, Be Broken, Continental Resources, State Farm Insurance, and Pioneer Natural Resources.Of course, his favorite interest is helping homeschoolers excel, and does so with the 10 Courses of The College-Ready Collection.Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand Jr. www.fredraylybrand.com

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