Diagramming Palin's Sentences

Forget politics. Anyone who's interested in clarity should study this post on Slate.com by author Kitty Burns Florey: "Diagramming Sarah: Can Palin's sentences stand up to a grammarian?"

In her post, the novelist and copy editor says:

"There are plenty of people out there -- not only English teachers but also amateur language buffs like me -- who believe that diagramming a sentence provides insight into the mind of its perpetrator,"


OK, it's political, since she's taking on Sarah Palin's tortured sentences from interviews blamed for a drop in her approval ratings. But a return to the lost grammar school torment of diagramming sentences -- illustrated by sentence maps that look like an incomprehensible equation -- is an enlightening journey.

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    Chip Scanlan

    Chip Scanlan is an affiliate faculty member at The Poynter Institute. From 1994-2009, he taught reporting and writing in its real and virtual classrooms and coached journalists worldwide. He spent two decades as an award-winning journalist for the Providence Journal, St.

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