Tag Archives: grammar, usage, and style

Word Root Exercise: Gyn/o, Gyne, and Gynec/o

OK, let’s begin the week with this worksheet on the Greek roots gyn/o, gyne, and gynec/o. If you know the words gynecologist (or perhaps an even more timely word, misogynist), then you know that these roots mean “woman” and “female.”

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, October 18, 2019

This week’s Text, in the ongoing observation of Hispanic Heritage Month 2019 at Mark’s Text Terminal, is a reading on Pueblo Civilization and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

As I am wont to do, I debated with myself the relevance of Pueblo Civilization to Hispanic Heritage. I’m confident that these first nation peoples were part of the same ethnic group as the Mayans–who of course became a subject population to the Spanish Empire. In any case, if anyone with the bona fides to do so could weigh in on this, I would of course be grateful.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Term of Art: Invented Spelling

invented spelling: A unique spelling of a word created by a child who has not yet learned the correct spelling. Proponents of invented spelling believe that it encourages students  to express their ideas in writing before they have learned to spell. Critics worry that it introduces poor habits early in the learning process. Invented spelling is also referred to as temporary spelling, on the assumption that at some point students will learn how to spell the words accurately.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Word Root Exercise: Uni-

This worksheet on the Latin word root uni might serve students well, particularly English language learners. It means, of course, one.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Coordination and Subordination

“I want to pause here to digress on the seemingly underwhelming concepts of coordination and subordination. I will ask you to stifle your yawn as I acknowledge that they are easy to dismiss–ancient, faintly risible, uttered once long ago by acolytes of sentence diagramming in the era of chalk dust. They smack of grammar for grammar’s sake, and almost nobody cares about that. Teachers instead seek mostly to simply make sure the sentences work and dispense with the parsing of parts. It is so much simpler to tell kids to go with ‘sounds right’ (an idea that inherently discriminates against those for whom the sounds of language are not happily ingrained by luck or privilege) or to make the odd episodic correction and not worry about the principle at work.

But coordination and subordination are in fact deeply powerful principles worth mastering. They describe the ways that ideas are connected, the nuances that yoke disparate thoughts together. It is the connections as much as the ideas that make meaning. To master conjunctions is to be able to express that two ideas are connected but that one is more important than the other, that one is dependent on the other, that one is contingent on the other, that the two ideas exist in contrast or conflict. Mastering that skill is immensely important not just to writing but to reading. Students who struggle with complex text can usually understand the words and clauses of a sentence; it is the piecing together of the interrelationships among them that most often poses the problem. They understand the first half of a sentence but miss the cue that questions its veracity in the second half. And so without mastery of the syntax of the relationships–which is what coordination and subordination are–the sentence devolves–for weak readers–into meaninglessness.”

Doug Lemov

Excerpted from: Hochman, Judith C., and Natalie Wexler. The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking through Writing in All Subjects and Grades. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2017.

Common Cold

Here is a reading on the common cold and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it, if you need them.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Write it Right: Badly for Bad

“Badly for Bad. ‘I feel badly.’ ‘He looks badly.’ The former sentence implies defective nerves of sensation, the latter, defective nerves of sensation. Use the adjective.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.