Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thought of the Day

After reading the premiere post on apostrophe use, I recalled a recent lesson on grammar that I gave to my 9th graders. It went something like this:

"In college, I worked at a hotel. I had to travel on the 405 highway to get to work. The speed limit is 60. I had difficulty following that speed limit at all times. But, I did know that there were three areas that I absolutely needed to obey the rules. If I didn't, a speed trap would get me.
More than once, I forgot to adjust to the traps and wound up with a ticket. The use of grammar is much the same."
I then asked, "When do you get away with not following grammatical rules?"
Many students knew that text messaging, instant messaging, and e-mail between friends provides them with the opportunity to not follow the rules.
"No one is checking up on you when you text message, so, yes, you can get away with it. But does that reality change the existing rule? No. Just like when I was speeding, I was breaking the rules. There are grammatical speed traps on a regular basis. You have to know where those traps are. The WASL is a main one. Homework assignments--essays, tests, and other formal assignments require you to follow the rules. That is why it is important that you know the rules. "
I hope that they understood, and will follow my advice. It will pay off in a couple of weeks when they reach that big speed trap of the WASL.


At 8:06 AM , Blogger Keith said...

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