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October 03, 2010

What English Teachers Talk About

What would you guess English teachers talk about? Yes, of course, we talk about our best (and sometimes worst!) students. But besides this, we usually talk about....

...words.

Yes, we usually trade stories about word origins, confusions and distortions. We talk about the beauty, difficulty and the limits of words. Yes, English teachers tend to be hard core word nerds.

Sometimes we even find ourselves out in the public marketplace correcting people - or even worse - correcting signs.

Yes, some of us go out in public armed with white ink and markers and make the best of a spelling or grammatical error.

Some of us even risk arrest in the name of grammar - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26351328/.

And then there are those who conspire to make the world a more (grammatically speaking) perfect place. Here's a place for those fellow travellers who notice a misplaced comma or apostrophe.

And yes, of course there is an least one word nerd Facebook page ('Let's eat Grandma!' or, 'Let's eat, Grandma!' Punctuation saves lives).

And I would be remiss if I did warn you about the International Grammar Police - http://www.webspawner.com/users/grammarpol/.
They scour the skies and websites for the awkward phrasing or misused word.

Once you become addicted to language clarity, you'll never go back.

You'll never be absolutely free of error either...but that's a whole other topic isn't it?

What are some questions you have about learning or teaching English - or any language?

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities. Morf is currently a radio host (tacoma.fm) and a newspaper columnist http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/columnists/morf_morford/.

Posted by mmorf at October 3, 2010 10:03 PM

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