The Joy of Syntax and the Zen of Grammar Practice

The Joy of Syntax and the Zen of Grammar Practice

Connecting Learning with Life, Love, Laughter, Language, and Literature. A Timeless Gourmet Guide to the Structures that enable Words to enter into Meaningful Relationships

When E. E. Cummings talks about “the deepest secret nobody knows,” he is talking about love and how love keeps the world, the cosmos even, from falling apart. Here is another “deepest secret nobody knows”: Studying grammar can be very enjoyable and life-enriching, and it is vital for every human earthling who wants to think and vote. Why is studying grammar important? Because language is all-powerful and because language is controlled by grammar – by syntax, to be more precise.

Although syntax is at the heart of all that matters in human affairs, this book doesn’t want to be (nor can it be) a definitive study of English syntax. Nor does it want to reveal “truth.” Instead, the book invites you to go on a journey, to enter a process, to become aware of your dynamic relationship with language and life.

While this book is an invitation to a journey, it’s also a snapshot view of an ongoing dance. And it’s a hands-on map of English syntax, a collection of overviews of many important syntactic structures, and a bridge connecting basic grammar with reading, perceiving, thinking, feeling, writing, real life, literature – and joy. The book wants to make the topics of syntax and style accessible and enjoyable to whoever wants to spend time with them.

Friderike designed a color-parsing method that can be a helpful and enjoyable tool for analyzing the simplest and the most complex of sentences and styles. This method helps join intuitive, creative, and cognitive processes, making it easier for us to sort out what’s happening in sentences and texts and what kinds of reading they require from us. It is suited to meet the needs of beginners and pros.

The book was designed as a one-semester course, which takes the reader from basic sentences that are as easy as “I love you” to the complexities of E.E. Cummings and Faulkner.

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