A Way With Words Part III

  • by Michael D.C. Drout
  • 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Who eats shoots and leaves? A panda? Or a gunman at a restaurant? The answer to this all depends on - you guessed it - grammar. In the third part of his extraordinary Way with Words series, Professor Drout continues to explore humanity's intimate association with language, here delving into the finer points of English grammar. Since others judge you by the way you speak, the intricacies of grammar, in fact, should not be relegated to the realm of fussy "guardians of the language," but are rather essential clues all can employ to communicate more exactly. In such a light, this course forms an invaluable guide for everyone from all fields of interest.

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Customer Reviews

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A clear and enjoyable guide to English grammar

I needed to ensure that I knew when to use "its" or "it's", "who" or "whom", "and I" or "and me", and avoid other easily made mistakes in the English language. Michael Drout not only provides the answers but gives tips on how to remember them, backing up his information with interesting and often entertaining stories about the history of English and how we came to have the words and usage that we have today.
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- Herbal

Inspired to Learn More...

What did you like most about A Way With Words Part III?

I want to listen to it again because it was logical and entertaining: having learnt some of the history behind the conventions, I now have a deeper understanding; this deeper understanding is also likely to improve memorisation. That said, I will print out the guidebook, read it and make notes so I can cement the invaluable lessons contained within this course.

This course has answered many questions, but it has also evoked a thrist for more knowledge about grammar. I am particularly interested in learning more about the history of the English language and Chomsky's transformational grammar.

This is the third A Way With Words course by Professor Michael D. C. Grammaticus that I have listened to, and I always hate it when I have to stop listening to go to work etc; he's very knowledgeable, clear, logical, entertaining and his critical thinking skills make him open to see the pros and cons of the various schools of thought on the given topic. I love the 'take the good and leave the stupid' approach. For example, using tools such as, correction punctuation for clarity and ignoring irrational Latin grammar rules, which don't apply to English.

My only negative criticism is that I feel that the course was too short; it did feel rushed in places. On the other hand, no one course can provide all of the answers and this course makes me want to learn more; it's great to get the perceptive of a philologist.

The course is made up of fourteen lectures:
Lecture 1 The Red Panda and the Drout Way: A Sensible Approachto Grammar
Lecture 2 What Is Grammar?
Lecture 3 Why It Is the Way It Is: The Short History of the English Language
Lecture 4 G-H-O-T-I Spells Fish
Lecture 5 Word Classes
Lecture 6 Pronouns and the Noun System
Lecture 7 The Verb System I
Lecture 8 The Verb System II: Infinitives, Participles, Gerunds
Lecture 9 The Verb System III: Truly Irregular Verbs
Lecture 10 Subjects and Predicates and Objects, Oh, My!
Lecture 11 Transformations
Lecture 12 Phrases and Clauses, Word Choices and Pauses
Lecture 13 Punctuation: Pause and Effect
Lecture 14 Fight! Fight! Fight! For English (for English?)


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- Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books