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Grammarsaurus Rex

December 27, 2011

So I’ve nearly finished my teaching course now and I have to say it’s been harder than I anticipated. Especially grammar, who’d of thunk grammar would be that tricksy. Now I know that if a noun begins with a vowel you say ‘an’ first; an elephant, an intrepid explorer, an aubergine etcetera, and if it begins with a consonant you say ‘a’, for instance; a bloody boring blog, a miserable council worker, a gnarly hangover, etcetera. As for the rest of it, I say what I say because on some anatomical level I know it to be more-or-less correct. As such the real physics of grammar, the formula if you will, is a total anathema to me. Especially as English doesn’t really have a formula; there’s the ancient Celtic/Briton stuff, then the Vikings and the Saxons came and had a bash and added their lingo. The Romans had a crack and threw some Latin at it for good measure, not to mention the French (mon dieu!), the Spanish and the good old Germanic Empire. The Americans tried to make some sense of it and sort it all out but pretty much gave up after changing colour to color and now it’s even more confused since both versions are floating around and getting mixed up. How on earth do you teach a person how to make sense of this when even what seems like an air-tight formula can suddenly fall to pieces? “‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’” for instance; can’t go too wrong with that. Except for ancient, species, science, sufficient, society, seize, weird, eider, either, height, foreign, leisure, counterfeit, forfeit, neither, atheist, their… so basically its rubbish. Fun times!

Thankfully I have Teacher Joe. Teacher Joe teaches me stuff via the marvel that is the internet. Teacher Joe makes learning fun! Teacher Joe is i-to-i’s online course guru who you periodically get to watch clips of doing his thing through the course. He seems to be in perpetual exuberance and is always excited and upbeat to be teaching his students. He’s the kind of teacher that you look at and think wow! That is just way more energy than I’m ever going to have for the present perfect tense! Thankfully Teacher Joe teached me some good grammars so I now have this…

Ta-da! I am officially aware of the existence of grammar. I know it to be a mysterious and complex beastie worthy of much greater respect than I had previously given it credit for. Like most things that fit this description I will henceforth maintain a respectful distance from it unless absolutely necessary – like when I have to try and teach it to people, which is getting scarily close now. Time to get jabs and an inventory on the go I think; my travel trousseau is still missing some key items. Plus I need to order a replacement degree certificate so I can get teaching jobs since I lost the original. Time to start making lists now I feel, lots of lists…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2011 11:39 am

    I am shocked that your parents didn’t give you more of an insight into grammar and that you though you went into detail on the problems of i after e, you neglected the issues involved with an hotel – trust the French to confuse things.
    It was great to hear about your “crush” on your internet grammar teacher.
    Things are certainly speeding up now and I think that your lists are a very good idea. As of the 28th December you only have 125 sleeps left in the country!

  2. December 28, 2011 12:11 pm

    I think you could at least acknowledge my contribution to your knowledge and understanding of grammar – It was not just Teacher Joe, but me chipping in with words of wisdom too at times! You’d better teach me about scipe or whatever so we can keep up the supportive dialogue when you go away.

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