We’ve focused so much on the intricate details of grammar and language in this section, that now it’s time to step back and look at the big picture once again. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of exactly what each rule means and how it works. It helps to remember that language is a practice of patterns. Some patterns you know and use well; others you may not know and need to practice further with.
And we all need help with these patterns from time to time. One example of this comes from William Bradshaw, author of a writing handbook:
Soon after my grammar book was released, I learned that a nearby school district purchased more than three hundred copies of my book. I went to the main office of the district to express my gratitude for the district’s interest in my book. I was referred to the staff person responsible for high school curriculum development.
I had assumed the books were for the students, but learned that, instead, they were for faculty and non-teaching staff members. The curriculum development officer said her research led her to conclude that the typical high school student in the district was lacking in an adequate knowledge of correct grammar. After meeting with high school teachers for the purpose of developing enhancement classes that high school students could take to help them in understanding and using correct English, she concluded that faculty and staff members also needed a refresher course in English. It was for that purpose she ordered copies of my book:The Big Ten of Grammar: Identifying and Fixing the Ten Most Frequent Grammatical Errors.
As this example shows, even teachers make grammatical mistakes, and we all need to brush up on our skills from time to time.
Review the pages in this module as often as you need as you progress through your college courses. They’ll be here to help you when you need them.
And here’s one final catchy takeaway for this section. You can help our society police its “word crimes,” by following the guidance in this video!