(English) what?

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“We had been taught Latin, French and German grammar; but English grammar was something we felt we were expected to infer from our reading…” (15 Eats, Shoots & Leaves)

There are various things that as American students, in the school system that we are forced into, that we are expected to infer. Different words are uses in front of us as children that we never know what they mean. No one questions our knowledge of there meaning; therefore we never truly know it.  Realizing this, I have now started looking up words that I already think I know in the dictionary in order to again true knowledge of the word. Even some words I have been using for years I have found I have been using them in the wrong context, but no one has ever corrected me. This is probably because they learned the meaning the same way that I did through experience not by looking up the actual definition. 

2 Comments

Maddie Gillespie said:

I completely understand where you're coming from. As babies, we learn to talk by imitating the sounds we hear ensuing from the mouths of adults. Often enough, after we grow up a little and out of the stage where we ask, "What's that mean?" we stop asking, or even worse, looking for the definition of words. I love to read and was one of the few individuals in my high school who actively read for enjoyment (and was able to thereby trounce the mockers with terms that they failed to understand). When you read often enough, you do pick up on the general rules of punctuation and grammar. There have even been a few instances when I've picked out mistakes in printed books! Not all that often though. You made a great correlation between the amount of reading that one does and one's proficiency in grammar and punctuation. Good job!

Maddie Gillespie said:

I completely understand where you're coming from. As babies, we learn to talk by imitating the sounds we hear ensuing from the mouths of adults. Often enough, after we grow up a little and out of the stage where we ask, "What's that mean?" we stop asking, or even worse, looking for the definition of words. I love to read and was one of the few individuals in my high school who actively read for enjoyment (and was able to thereby trounce the mockers with terms that they failed to understand). When you read often enough, you do pick up on the general rules of punctuation and grammar. There have even been a few instances when I've picked out mistakes in printed books! Not all that often though. You made a great correlation between the amount of reading that one does and one's proficiency in grammar and punctuation. Good job!

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