Sentence diagramming: per imparare la grammatica divertendosi. Provatelo, non riuscirete a smettere
Questa meravigliosa “invezione” è attribuita ad Alonzo Reed e Brainerd Kellogg, che nel 1877 pubblicarono Higher Lessons in English, praticamente introvabile se non fosse per Project Gutenberg e Google Books.
Recentemente la copy-editor americana Kitty Burns Florey ha scritto un libro intitolato Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog, in cui parla con ironia di mappe grammaticali e altro.
Part of the fun of diagramming sentences was that it didn’t matter what they did. The dog could bark, chew gum, play chess – in the world of diagramming, sentences weren’t about meaning so much as they were about subject, predicate, objetct and their various dependents or modifiers. All you had to do was get the diagram right – the meaning was secondary. And for a bunch of eleven-and-twelve-year-olds, there was a certain wacky charm to that idea.
At my school, diagramming was part of our English classes for three years. Once the gates of elementary school slammed shut at the end of eighth grade, I never encountered diagramming again. Presumably, by then, our grammar was impeccable – a doubtful proposition, perhaps reflecting the optimism of the nuns about the perfectibility of human being. With diagramming behind us, we were encouraged to use our skills in the writing of compositions on such topics as […] keeping Christ in Christmas, the importance of good dental health, and why Nixon should be elected president, even though Kennedy was a Catholic. (pagina 11)
Postato da: IM