Collins Improve your Writing Skills by Graham King explains that you require two keys for language to work as a communication tool – ‘vocabulary’ and ‘grammar’. Vocabulary (words) will never work on their own without the grammar rules that sticks them together. I won’t quote Graham King’s analogy on this until later down the page. Here are a couple of my own explanations:
- One hundred loose pages (vocabulary) without the binding (the grammar rules) cannot form a physical book (language)
Book (language) = 100 loose pages (vocabulary) + binding (grammar rules)
Several pieces of material (vocabulary) without the stitching (grammar rules) cannot form a shirt (language)
Shirt (language) = individual pieces of material (vocabulary) + stitching (grammar rules)
Now I’ll quote Graham King’s analogy: “words by themselves can never constitute a language, any more than a million loose tennis balls can form a verticle wall. What is needed is some glue or cement to stick them together.”
I know this may all sound obvious, but sometimes getting back to basics can help you appreciate the importance of grammar. This will also prepare you for tomorrow’s lesson which is going to be about grammatical building blocks.
To recap: Language = vocabulary (words) + grammar rules. Grammar is the glue that holds the words together to form a language.
This blog forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter or my ‘Tips and Luxuries‘ Facebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.
My Tips and Luxuries website
(includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)
Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries
Graham King The Collins Improve your Writing Skills, UK