Anorak | Syntax Inspectors

Syntax Inspectors

by | 19th, January 2005

‘IN the good old days before Labour set about abolishing grammar schools, even the man on the Clapham omnibus knew the difference between a pronoun and a preposition.

Lynne pictured waiting for an indecent preposition

Armed with years of old-fashioned grammar teaching, we could all construct sentences as long as the Great Wall of China and just as sturdy.

We had no need of Lynne Truss – a stray comma was punishable by a day in the stocks; a misplaced apostrophe attracted a custodial sentence.

So, imagine our surprise when we read in this morning’s Guardian that teaching children grammar does not help them write.

Academics at York University say teachers wanting to improve children’s writing skills would do better to help pupils combine shorter sentences to make longer ones.

The Government-funded study, billed as the most extensive of its kind, did not

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