Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 09:29:32 -0600 From: Natalie Maynor Subject: Grammar Books It's book order time for fall semester, and once again I'm faced with the problem of choosing a book for Descriptive English grammar, a junior-level course populated mainly by English-Ed majors. I've taught it every fall for the past five or so years now and have yet to find a book I really like. The one I loved when I taught the course a couple of times a long time ago has long been out of print: LaPalombara. The books I've used since then are Kolln (not bad -- I may return to it someday, especially having discovered that one thing I disliked about it could have been solved by changing the order of the chapters -- I started using it with 3rd ed. and later saw a copy of the 2nd ed., which had a much more logical arrangement); Stageberg (too skimpy); Kaplan (an utter disaster -- started out fine but quickly became extremely confusing to the students -- I ended up telling them to forget the book and spent every weekend the rest of the semester making handouts to use instead of a textbook); Klammer & Schulz (decent enough that it's the only book I've used two years in a row, but I'm not wild about it -- it's a bit boring and a bit skimpy). Sitting on my desk right now as possibilities are Marilyn Silva's _Grammar in Many Voices_ and Dorothy Sedley's _Anatomy of English_. Have any of you used either one of these books? If so, how did it go? My goals in teaching the course are to give the students an idea of what grammar is and some details of how English grammar in particular works and to get them interested in something other than their clothes, their hair, and their dates. *In general* (with notable exceptions, of course), the students who take this course display little interest in anything other than their social lives. I'd like to show them that analyzing English grammar is fun. --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]