Date: Thu, 3 Mar 1994 12:58:40 EST


Subject: Re: A Noun Is a Word After a Determiner

Some thoughts on Dennis Baron's grammar teacher ethics problem (note the

prenominal nominal modifiers):

1. What a great final examination question for my English grammar class!

2. The teacher forgot *idea* in her box arrangement.

3. Wait until the teacher tries to sort out *action word* from *thing*

with another set of boxes.

4. Is the child a vegetarian? Where do vegetables fit in?

5. Someone probably also needs to tell the teacher that *present tense*

does not necessarily mean 'present time.'

6. Why does grammatical instruction always seem to be the province of

simple-minded, dogmatic fools?

7. The teacher needs to take a modern grammar course, plain and simple.

New requirements for teacher education in Georgia now require students to

study dialects, registers, morphology, etc.--modern scholarship on English.

We have too often sent out teachers armed with nothing but 18th- and

19th-century methods and ideas. I would hate to get psychotherapy from

someone who knew nothing past Freud or have a bridge built by someone who

stopped studying structural mechanics 100 years ago. But my purely

literary colleagues think that 18th- and 19th-century grammatical terms and

methods are sufficient for teachers--but I notice that all of their doctors

are trained in modern medicine. However, the state ed dept. has had enough

sense to sense that something new was in the air. But alas! this teacher

was probably not a product of a secondary ed program anyway.

Wayne Glowka

Georgia College

Milledgeville, GA 31061