December 19, 2006

"Those grammarians hate freedom"

Heidi Harley has posted about the French government's promotion of grammar teaching in the schools, with links to reports about the initiative.  Among them is a link to Dennis Baron's Web of Language coverage.  Baron's blog has a three-paragraph summary of the story.  But go to the site for the rest of this page, which quotes various authorities -- British Minister of Schools Jim Knight, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, George W. Bush, and Tony Blair -- on the controversial plan.  The tone of this part of Baron's blog can be judged from two quotations from Spellings:

"Bring formal grammar back to the classroom," she predicted, "and you'll have angry mobs of teachers overturning cars in the parking lot and torching them."

[with reference to Noam Chomsky] "Those grammarians hate freedom," she concluded.

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Posted by Arnold Zwicky at December 19, 2006 02:35 PM