If I said that I was reading a book yesterday afternoon when I suddenly realized I had not yet booked the hotel reservation for my vacation, how is the word book being used grammatically in that statement? Of if an accountant speaks of the book value of a company’s assets, what is the grammar of the word book there? We are often impatient with questions like these because they appear so academic or theoretical. But the theoretical (the word in its derivation means to look at) can reveal structure, or form, and therein lies the possibility of mastery and command.
Getting Organized: The Parts of Speech Tuesday, March 2 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. CT A cluttered sentence, like a cluttered desk, wastes a lot of time and attention, and both can be cleaned up efficiently when we begin to sort things out and toss what we don’t need. The traditional parts of speech are simply the eight ways in which words can be used grammatically, and knowing how they work will help you revise your sentences more confidently. The next Writing Smartly seminar will introduce each of the eight functions, illustrate their uses, and explain how to identity them in
If you can put your hands on a copy of Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument by Ward Fearnside and William Holther (and what, really, isn’t available anymore at our fingertips?), the four-page introduction alone will be worth your time and treasure. Published in 1959, this utterly solid (and what is solid may be dense at times) college-level discussion of mistakes in reasoning will help bring some much needed order to the disarraying confusion that is our public discourse—and much of the written word—at the present moment. Introductions are meant to give an overview, so these first few pages of Fallacy