Writing style at St. John’s

When James Tolbert (Dir. of Adm.) interviewed me he said only one thing at the end before I left: “At St. John’s we are grammarians so you must get a copy of House and Harmann’s Descriptive English Grammar.” I immediately ordered a copy and spent the entire summer DIAGRAMMING each and every single example sentence in all 400 pages. I learned a lot of grammar. It helped me to learn ancient Greek. Oh the other thing Mr. Tolbert did was scold me for misspelling laundry as “laundary.” Those were the days of the electric typewriter BEFORE spell checkers. Every time I see the word laundry I think of Mr. Tolbert. Other than those two occasions no one ever really advised me on grammar or style. Three of my four essays are on-line. The only one I did not save was my Freshman essay but I remember vividly the essential points. I suppose I could post the links to those essays and see what needs polishing. Actually, I don’t remember anyone correcting our grammar or pronunciation in classes or seminar.

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