A Matter of Style: the English Sentence Past and Present
English 270: A Matter of Style: the English Sentence Past and Present
Sentences are something we use every day, forming them easily, understanding them without apparent effort. But that very ease can allow us ignore their complexity , their beauty, and the ways writers work to make their words effective.
This class will introduce you to the world of English Sentences. You will learn about their elements and their structures. You’ll learn to think about them as examples of a range of different styles and registers. You will look at sentences from literature as well as from ordinary life. You’ll write many sentences yourself, both as your own and as imitations of famous sentences from the past—even sentences from the morning newspaper.
This will not be a grammar class (though we will do enough syntax to make you a better reader and maker of sentences), but you’ll nevertheless learn much about the many different ways English speakers put their thoughts into words.
At the end of the course you’ll leave having memorized a few sentences, written more than a few others, read and spoken some of the most famous in our language, and heard many, many more.
Textbooks will include a good dictionary and a collection of texts we as a class will seek out and assemble ourselves.