Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Connection between Logic and Language

Stanley Fish, Dean Emeritus at the University of Illinois, has a great op-ed in the New York Slimes. He shows the direct and inseparable connection between form (grammar) and logic. You can read the entire article at you leisure. I've included the first two paragraphs for your edification:

"WE are at that time of year when millions of American college and high school students will stride across the stage, take diploma in hand and set out to the wider world, most of them utterly unable to write a clear and coherent English sentence. How is this possible? The answer is simple and even obvious: Students can't write clean English sentences because they are not being taught what sentences are."

"Most composition courses that American students take today emphasize content rather than form, on the theory that if you chew over big ideas long enough, the ability to write about them will (mysteriously) follow. The theory is wrong. Content is a lure and a delusion, and it should be banished from the classroom. Form is the way."



At 11:33 AM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Again, as a teacher, I agree. The curriculum in America is reprehensible.


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