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I really loved listening to this course about grammar. I have always read quite a bit so I had an ok framework for being grammatical, but grammar courses never really engaged me before this one. With this course I finally understand the reasons why grammar and spelling are the way they are.
The parts of interest about the history of English were fascinating and they were presented in a clearer mode than I have encountered before. I really loved the sections on spelling and transformational grammar. I had never known about transformational generative grammar before this course, and it was very cool to see a clearer mode of taking apart and analyzing sentences. Overall, I think the "Drout Approach" to grammar is very calm, a little laid-back, yet still precise. I enjoyed that. In fact, I listened to this course two times already, and have decided to try some further reading about grammar to increase my facility. The course increased my interest in its subject matter, which is what I view to be a hallmark of a good course in any venue.
Prof. Drout has a nice speaking voice (not dry or boring) that is varied and interesting to listen to. The narration did not put me to sleep, but engaged me in stories that were amusing and easy to remember. This narrative quality, along with the helpful and interesting facts found throughout the course made this an enjoyable and informative listen.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This audio course is for anyone who has ever suffered from grammar anxiety. Prof. Drout gives special dispensation to place prepositions at the end of sentences, to use split infinitives, and conjunctions at the beginning of sentences. He also gives you a solid defense against those grammar sticklers that make others fret over syntax: ???keep your imported Latin grammar rules to yourself!???
Thanks to Prof. Drout I now understand how to correctly use ???I??? and ???me,??? ???that??? and ???which,??? ???who??? and ???whom.??? With generous references to the history of our exquisite language and a delightful sense of humor, Prof. Drout makes all the grammar worries go away. You???ll understand why parts of our language are strange and confusing, and gain a new appreciation for those trying to learn English as a second language.
Prof. Drout reads excerpts from Beowulf and Chaucer, so you???ll hear the musical roots of our wonderful language. He explains that the evolution of English is more about conquerors, and less about scholarly progression. He discusses past scholars who have declared Latin the perfect language and, therefore, tried to force English to conform to Latin grammar. This has resulted is some of the most frustrating aspects of English.
He explains that English grammar is an art, not a science. For this reason, he rails against grammar checkers, ???let those Seattle trolls keep their green squiggly lines to themselves.???
I highly recommend this course. You???ll actually understand what a participle is and why it shouldn???t dangle. You???ll comprehend gerunds, infinitives, and modals. Not only will you gain a solid command of English, but it happens in just 7 hours; that???s amazing!
20 of 24 people found this review helpful
I needed to ensure that I knew when to use "its" or "it's", "who" or "whom", "and I" or "and me", and avoid other easily made mistakes in the English language. Michael Drout not only provides the answers but gives tips on how to remember them, backing up his information with interesting and often entertaining stories about the history of English and how we came to have the words and usage that we have today.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about A Way With Words Part III?
I want to listen to it again because it was logical and entertaining: having learnt some of the history behind the conventions, I now have a deeper understanding; this deeper understanding is also likely to improve memorisation. That said, I will print out the guidebook, read it and make notes so I can cement the invaluable lessons contained within this course.
This course has answered many questions, but it has also evoked a thrist for more knowledge about grammar. I am particularly interested in learning more about the history of the English language and Chomsky's transformational grammar.
This is the third A Way With Words course by Professor Michael D. C. Grammaticus that I have listened to, and I always hate it when I have to stop listening to go to work etc; he's very knowledgeable, clear, logical, entertaining and his critical thinking skills make him open to see the pros and cons of the various schools of thought on the given topic. I love the 'take the good and leave the stupid' approach. For example, using tools such as, correction punctuation for clarity and ignoring irrational Latin grammar rules, which don't apply to English.
My only negative criticism is that I feel that the course was too short; it did feel rushed in places. On the other hand, no one course can provide all of the answers and this course makes me want to learn more; it's great to get the perceptive of a philologist.
The course is made up of fourteen lectures:
Lecture 1 The Red Panda and the Drout Way: A Sensible Approachto Grammar
Lecture 2 What Is Grammar?
Lecture 3 Why It Is the Way It Is: The Short History of the English Language
Lecture 4 G-H-O-T-I Spells Fish
Lecture 5 Word Classes
Lecture 6 Pronouns and the Noun System
Lecture 7 The Verb System I
Lecture 8 The Verb System II: Infinitives, Participles, Gerunds
Lecture 9 The Verb System III: Truly Irregular Verbs
Lecture 10 Subjects and Predicates and Objects, Oh, My!
Lecture 11 Transformations
Lecture 12 Phrases and Clauses, Word Choices and Pauses
Lecture 13 Punctuation: Pause and Effect
Lecture 14 Fight! Fight! Fight! For English (for English?)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful