rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was surprised by the contents of this book. I had reserved it from the library via the internet while thinking that it was a “how-to” book, in order that I might improve my understanding of grammar and naming parts of sentences. In fact it is a history of sentence diagramming! Yes, it does state this in the subtitle, but in my hurry to find the “how-to” book, the aforementioned subtitle did not register in my conscious mind until I started reading.
Kitty Burns Florey writes a wonderfully easy-to-read and humorous history of a language arts exercise that has mostly gone by the wayside now. She introduces the very origins of diagramming and follows its journey in American culture, acknowledging it as a fun exploration but ultimately unable to fulfill the very purposes for which it had been birthed and taught–to better a person’s ability to write well and to speak well.
I am glad to have read it but must now wonder if I should pursue that elusive “how-to” book after all…