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Twenty selected Coalface errors

Those who have read about the great Queensland grammar scandal about the "Coalface" teachers' guide and the ensuing coverup and counterattack may have wondered just what the crucial errors of grammatical analysis were, because the press coverage mentioned only a scant half-dozen. I thought Language Log readers might like to see fuller details in browsable […]

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Weird grammar

Grammar is back in the news in Australia, and not in a good way. According to Justine Ferrari, "Grammar guide an 'education disaster'", The Onion Australian 2/20/2010: ONE of the world's most respected authorities on grammar has written to every school principal in Queensland, warning them of an error-strewn grammar guide distributed by the state's […]

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ETAQ strikes baq: more from Queensland

The editor of a journal for teachers sets out to write and publish some helpful materials for those teaching grammar "at the coalface" (a worryingly dark metaphor for what it must be like in classrooms these days!). After publication she finds that she has made so many gross mistakes that the material is worse than […]

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Grasshoppers and women on horseback as frogs

At's Evolving Thoughts, the philosopher of biology John S. Wilkins recently referenced a couple of Language Log posts ("Queensland grammar brouhaha", 6/13/2008; "How the Romans invented grammar", 6/14/2008), and added his own ruminations ("Grammar wars in Queensland", 10/14/2008): Now grammar wars and grammar nazis go back a long time, and the fight seems to […]

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Queensland grammar brouhaha

A major grammar brouhaha exploded in Australia today, launched in the country's major newspaper The Australian under the headline Grammar guide for English teachers 'full of basic errors': A TEACHERS' guide to grammar circulated by the English Teachers Association of Queensland is riddled with basic errors, leading an internationally respected linguistics professor to describe it […]

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