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Myths about Grammar - Essay Example

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Grammar is a language that is mostly misunderstood especially in the teaching field. The misconception comes in with the different ways in which different people view grammar. Grammar is mostly is viewed as a collection of several arbitrary rules that are normally about various linguistic static structures (Rodney and Pullum 388)…
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Myths about Grammar
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Download file to see previous pages The structures are not to be taught to the learners, they will acquire them on their own and if they are to be taught then the lessons are expected to be boring. They will be boring because the students will be required to repeat the different models in grammar (Chomsky, 136). Such teaching activities can be boring. This makes it more questionable. However there are different approaches that are communicative and proficiency based that limit the grammar instructions. There are several grammar claims that should be called grammar myths. There is a myth about split infinitives. You might have heard people saying that you are not supposed to use split infinitives. It is one of the many grammar myths that have been contradicting people for quite a long time. It all started with the Latin writers. (Bryan, 270)
How the myth of split infinitives began
Not to split infinitives is a notion that is mistaken. Latin was a, model in good writing in the 1800s and different writers tried to make English fit in Latin language. The attempt was unrealistic since the Latin infinitive is always one word and there is no way that it can be split. On the contrary, the infinitive has to be split in the English language (House, 54). No matter how awkward and unattractive the split infinitive is, it is never wrong to use them. There is nothing desirable about split infinitives, but according to H.W Fowler he says that when it comes to real ambiguity, then split infinitives are quite useful (Fowler, 768) .Always feel free to use the split infinitives whenever necessary even when it is a clumsy version. An example of a sentence with a split infinitive is…” We wanted to immediately leave for the airport”…. This splits an infinitive and is definitely not the right one to use. The other example is “The committee plans to legally ban franc disclosures” (LaRocque 61) .This sentence makes it clear that it is necessary to use a split infinitive. A split infinitive A split infinitive is a word that comes in between the particle “to and the verb. An example of a split infinitive word is “to go boldly” (Wardhaugh 69) it might seem wrong but then it is not. Split infinitives have been a great controversy among the teachers and the grammar people, but the notion that it is a grammatical myth is a mistake. Henry Fowler the writer of the book Modern English Usage stated that these as superstitions .It is a superstition that has never been legit and different English writers have always been splitting the infinitives ever since the 1300s. The blame has always been put on Henry Alford a Latinist and used to be the Dean of Canterbury in the 19th century. Alford published a book, A Plea for the Queen’s English in 1864 where he declared that “To” was an inseparable infinitive. He probably was influenced by the Latin grammar that infinitive is one word and it can never be split. Like you should not put the word,” Boldly” between an infinitive phrases “To go-as in “to boldly go’. This was false. (Alford 171) In the early 20th century the highly respected English writers Henry Fowler, George 0.Curme and many more started explaining that the split infinitive is preferable and accepted. Besides it is hard to split an infinitive, since the particle “To” is simply a prepositional marker and not part of the infinitive. At times it s never needed. An example like “She helped me to read” the particle ‘To’ can be dropped. But then because of the grammar myths that still live on, then it becomes difficult for one to drop it. That could explain why it is still in use and considered grammatically correct (Harris, Bruce ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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