The University of North Georgia Press is pleased to announce the release of our latest Open Education Resource: Brehe’s Grammar Anatomy by Dr. Steven Brehe, out August 4, 2018. As the University Press Partner for Affordable Learning Georgia, UNG Press is publishing this textbook as one of six Open Education Resources releasing this year.
Considered “a delight to read,” Brehe’s Grammar Anatomy makes grammar accessible, no matter who you are. This book provides a more in-depth look at beginner grammar terms and concepts, providing clear examples with limited technical jargon. Whether for academic or personal use, Brehe’s Grammar Anatomy is the perfect addition to any resource library.
• Practice exercises at the end of each chapter with answers in the back of the book, to help students test and correct their comprehension
• Full glossary and index with cross-references
• Easy-to-read language supports readers at every learning stage
As an Open Education Resource, this text is completely open access. It can be reused, remixed, and reedited freely without seeking permission.
We’re excited to share this textbook. Until its release, don’t miss our other exciting Brehe’s Grammar Anatomy events:
June 8 — Book Announcement
June 25 — Cover Reveal
June 29 — Press Release
July 13 — Sample Chapter
July 13 — Giveaway Starts
July 27 — Special Interest Blog
July 30 — Launch Info
August 4 — Release
I have been guilty of using the passive voice on numerous occasions. I’ll probably use it a couple of times in this blog—it must be the journalist in me. My editors will tell you how much I love to use it, although I’ve been trying to avoid it in my academic writing. Passive voice is when you switch the object of the sentence and the subject of the sentence. We use it all the time in speech, which is why we tend to glaze over it when writing and editing. Many however, assume that passive voice is bad form, and can be inconsistent and unclear in some cases. For example, it sounds better to say “Sam enjoyed his vacation in Florida” than to say “The vacation in Florida was enjoyed by Sam.” In some cases you will want to emphasize the object more than the subject, and in that case, passive voice is appropriate. Many journalist use passive voice to emphasize the act rather than the person committing the act. Just remember, academic writing wants you to be brief and powerful, so in those cases avoid passivizing if you can.
Ending with a Preposition
Most of the time, ending a sentence with a preposition is extremely frowned upon, especially in your academic writing. Some teachers might mark it off before they even read the context. However, in some cases ending prepositions may be better than an alternative word order For example, if I were to say, “Suzy doesn’t know where she came from.” I would have to reword the phrase to, “Suzy doesn’t know from where she came.” This sounds outdated, wordy, sloppy, and ultimately just doesn’t work in an academic setting. The first sentence is how we speak in everyday English. Should we end every sentence with a preposition? No, but we shouldn’t be hyper aware of this prescriptive rule either.
One of the most famous lines in history, “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” involves a split infinitive. An infinitive is a verb phrase that includes the word “to” plus a verb, such as “to live” or “to die.” Grammar rules tell us to avoid splitting the phrase. For example, it is incorrect to say “to valiantly die.” However, according to descriptive grammar, there isn’t really a relevant argument against it in modern English. In Latin, infinitives are one single verb form, without involving the word “to.” Therefore attempting to apply Latin grammar to English, some old guy made up a rule that infinitives can’t be split. Like most of these mistakes, you should not overuse them, but they aren’t a sin against grammar.
Beginning with a Conjunction
We ended with prepositions, now we are beginning with conjunctions? I know you must think I’m insane at this point, but believe me it’s all true. In modern English, beginning a sentence with a conjunction has become widely accepted among authors, teachers, and even grammarians. There was no real reason to make the rule in the first place; it was more of a way to teach children to write more elaborately. When you say, “But the truth is, the plan was a failure,” the introductory clause “But the truth is” is perfectly acceptable and descriptively and grammatically correct. There is subject verb agreement within the clause, and it acts as a conjunctive adverb. But, as I mentioned earlier don’t abuse the system (see what I did there?)
“Until recently, I was an ebook sceptic, see; one of those people who harrumphs about the ‘physical pleasure of turning actual pages’ and how ebook will ‘never replace the real thing’. Then I was given a Kindle as a present. That shut me up. Stock complaints about the inherent pleasure of ye olde format are bandied about whenever some new upstart invention comes along. Each moan is nothing more than a little foetus of nostalgia jerking in your gut. First they said CDs were no match for vinyl. Then they said MP3s were no match for CDs. Now they say streaming music services are no match for MP3s. They’re only happy looking in the rear-view mirror.”-Charlie Brooker
Ebooks as Easy to Read as Print: A controversial new study has been released saying that people comprehend just as much when reading from an electronic source as when reading from paper. Read about the study and the debate it has caused in this article from Discovery News.
The Breakable/Unbreakable Rules of Grammar: The English language can be confusing. Is it okay to split an infinitive? Is it “It’s me” or It’s I?” This article from The Huffington Post doesn’t directly answer these questions, but it shed some light on to why some grammar “rules” are meant to be broken and others are law.
100 Years of Bookmobiles: Remember getting excited when the Bookmobile was coming to your school? For some reason, even though there was a school library, there was something special about a moving, ever-changing, mini-library. Nowadays, bookmobiles are a rare commodity, but they’re making an interesting and artful comeback. The LA Times has put together this gallery of images detailing bookmobiles of the past and present.
“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.”-Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays