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on June 18, 2001
Mr. Walsh announces breezily that he "couldn't diagram a sentence if my life depended on it." We can tell he can't from the excerpt. He is ignorant and proud of being so; moreover, he wants to proselytize his ignorance under the false promise of making grammar easy. This excerpt shows that Mr. Walsh suffers from lazy reliance on the pronouns "it" and "that" sans antecedents. Such writers don't respect their readers enough to make their meaning clear by providing an antecedent or the missing noun. He inserts commas where they shouldn't be. He omits them where they should be. He splits a compound predicate adjective in the first paragraph with a superfluous comma("...consistently, [sic] and harder..."); he omits a needed comma in the compound sentence in the second paragraph (...superstitions [sic] and you...). This fellow is one of the tribe of gonzo grammarians who have dummied down grammar books in recent years to scam people into thinking that grammar can be easy to if some fly-by-night ersatz grammarian merely concocts new maxims, sneers at venerable rules, and makes a buck in the process. One wishes that the exuberant Mr. Walsh had spared us yet another of these blithe grammar-made-easy pamphlets of shallow scholarship and outright errors.
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