Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Easy Grammar Series - Sentence Structure

Since writing involves the use of correct grammar I thought I'd write a series of articles just on grammar related subjects. Originally, I was going to name this "The Grammar Sux Series," but thought better of it because proper grammar really doesn't, "Suck!" Trying to learn and understand proper grammar does. All those rules. How does anybody remember them all? I mean, it's not too difficult if you apply one common sense rule. Is my sentence structure clear?

See, what you must comprehend most about the writing article process is not whether you are always being grammatically correct. On the contrary, your hope is to be an effective writer. Always being grammatically correct is a good goal to have, but it's not a necessary objective in writing. If your writing communication is effective, your grammar is good enough! Why do I get this feeling 7th graders are rejoicing and planning on tossing their English grammar books into huge bond fires after reading that last sentence?

I realize all you proper sentence structure elites out there will have a tizzy reading this, but you're going to have to deal with it because you know all those rules are never followed even by the professional writers. I see hundreds of articles using poor grammar, but effectively getting a message across in unique ways. I will say this, using proper grammar is not a tyrannical dictatorial feat, you should always strive to learn and use descriptive linguistics productively. Grammar is nothing more than a series of suggested rules you should follow so your writing can make sense to the reader. Good grammar takes advantage of editing out nonessential words.

The goal of The Easy Grammar Series is to show how to USE LESS WORDS WHICH MEAN THE SAME THINGS AS MORE WORDS.

Breaking It down.
Sentence structure is what it's all about. Formulating thoughts into a series of words which mean things. To write an effective communication you must have two categories of words present in a sentence for it to work. These two categories, or "parts of speech" are called "Nouns and Verbs."

Here's how simple it gets - Snoopy sat.

Everything else in a sentence other than the Noun (Snoopy) and the Verb (sat) is there for one reason only - Cosmetic Description.

Here's what this means: - Ex: Snoopy sat down.

Using the word "down" does absolutely NOTHING to enhance the meaning of this sentence. Of course Snoopy sat "down." You can automatically infer the "down" part. If you write "down" you are unnecessarily using a word which says the same thing as the previous one, sat.

Snoop sat sideways

Now we are getting more descriptive here and this does mean something different. Describing the verb "sat" with the adverb "sideways" is an integral part of the sentence.

When writing a sentence always ask yourself the question - Do I need to provide this particular word for my reader to understand what's going on? Later in the series I will be discussing how to replace phrases with single words. This exercise gets to exactly what you need to be doing when editing your articles, and is a huge part of the article process.

To making grammar funner to learn...

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