Letter: Poor grammar

Sir: Although I disagree with much that Colin McCabe writes in his review of John Honey's Language is Power (27 September), he raises an interesting point, when he claims that "How to teach grammar without the traditional notions of `correctness' is perhaps one of the burning questions of our time - but it is too hot for academics to handle".

At the University of Kent some of us have been trying to do precisely this for at least the last ten years. However, because of financial exigencies within the university as a whole, the section responsible for running the programme is being closed down. Ironically, the programme could have been saved had the School of English been prepared to accommodate us. Unfortunately, they too felt that the teaching of English grammar was an unnecessary luxury. Yet again, English graduates, many of whom will probably become English teachers, are being deprived of a working knowledge of their own language.


Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics

University of Kent at Canterbury