Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A grammar quiz for smart homeschoolers

Grandpa Squirrel is a generous donor of large Sunday newspapers and other interesting reading material for the Treehouse.  This week he sent over a magazine for Mr. Fixit with an article about vintage radios.

Mama Squirrel read the article and was grammatically appalled.  There were enough sentence fragments, run-ons, and strange turns of phrase in there to illustrate a whole lesson on sentence structure (which we did).  Out of curiosity, Mama Squirrel perused the rest of the magazine, and uncovered a few other zingers that the editorial staff had missed.  (We hope we are not getting ourselves into trouble by copying these lines, but really, we think that certain magazine editors should take a closer look at what gets printed.)

So here's the challenge:  what's wrong with these sentences, and how would you fix them? (If you can.)

Note:  I don't pretend that my understanding of grammar is perfect either.  If you think some of these examples are correct, feel free to say so.

1.  She, and other craftspeople, has a very nice display space for their wares.

2.  By the mid 1930's over 50% of North American homes had at least one radio.  Over 1 1/2 million in automobiles.

3.  A table model which resembles a church Cathedral usually with four dials on the front.  A small window screen which contains the channels panel and at the top red fabric of the speaker.

4.  The new AC model radios began to sell in large numbers as owners threw out their battery operated radio.

5.  By the 1930's the design of the radio and its case began to change.  It went from a square body box design and outside speakers which sat on top of the radio or close by.

6.  The designs became more compact and speakers in the body of the radio and their appearance became more desirable.

7.  Repaired items should be priced considerably lower than a, similar, perfect head vase.

8.  Ordering from private distributors is possible but not cost affective.

9.  Orson Welles played The Shadow on radio.  Then moved onto Hollywood after his famous Halloween production of War of the Worlds.

10.  Ideas for the designs came from many sources such as: popular fashion magazines or Hollywood movie magazines.

Linked from the Carnival of Homeschooling.

2 comments:

May at Faint with Hunger said...

This is actually highly useful, I needed new material for "what's wrong with this sentence?" tests with my english student. That is pretty shocking but no worse than some of the things I've read. I actually get quite angry with one of my textbooks (at degree level!) for the number of mistakes in it.

Victoria said...

I wrote a post just this evening about poor writing. It is incredibly frustrating to see how fewer people seem to have a grasp of rudimentary grammar concepts. It is absolutely maddening to see how often homeschool graduates make grammatical errors, as well!

Thank you for this post. Love the idea of having kids find grammatical errors in everyday writing! Hope it's a bit more difficult in most publications than the one in which you found these gems!

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