The University of Edinburgh's Geoffrey Pullum will speak at UD March 18 about the "collapse" of grammatical education.

March 18: Teaching grammar

University of Edinburgh professor to discuss grammatical education


11:11 a.m., March 10, 2015--Geoffrey K. Pullum, professor at the University of Edinburgh, will speak at UD about grammatical education from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in Room 127 Memorial Hall.

The talk, titled “Heedless of Grammar: How English Grammatical Education Collapsed in the 20th Century and What Might be Done About It,” is sponsored by the Department of English. It is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

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Pullum will discuss the fact that literary study once involved close attention to language and that the English language was studied through examples from literature.

Today, he says, there are a host of false beliefs about English grammar circulating, such as the misunderstanding of grammatical terms, missing insights into grammatical structure and encouragement for students to rely solely on books like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. He argues that the current grammar education situation needs repair.

Pullum is a professor of general linguistics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He formerly taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and also served as Gerard Visiting Professor at Brown University in 2012-13. 

He co-authored a book with Rodney Huddleston, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, in 2002, which was awarded the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award from the Linguistic Society of America. 

Pullum has written on numerous linguistic topics, but is best known for his many posts on Language Log and Lingua Franca and for his entertaining lectures on the grammar of modern English.  

Article by Ashley Heller

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