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The Lost Art

The Lost Art July 12, 2012

There are some arts that have been lost, none more than diagramming sentences. Some have already clicked to another blog, others have said “You idiot, diagramming isn’t an art, it’s mind-numbing nonsense!” I beg to differ, but I get to my differ from a different angle.

I, too, hated diagramming sentence in junior and senior high. The sticks and rules just bored me into mental stupors.

But then I had Dr John Wilson who, instead of diagramming with sticks and lines, taught us what he called “sentence stacking,” which was the Efficient Person’s Art of Diagramming Sentences. We did Romans, from 1:1 through most of Romans 8, in a college class. There were about 25 of us; if I recall this right, there were about two of us who loved it, another five or so who enjoyed it, and the rest who must have been there to get credit. (Having taught college… I’ll not go there right now.)

What is your experience with diagramming sentences?

Then I learned Greek and I combined diagramming with Greek and came up with a system of constructing the base sentence with all modifications under the appropriate words … and I have become one who loves to “diagram” Greek sentences.

My rule: If you can diagram it, you don’t need to; if you can’t, you need to.


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