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Knowing about grammar, says David Crystal in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (Cambridge University Press, 2003), means "being able to talk about what it is we are able to do when we construct sentences--to describe what the rules are, and what happens when they fail to apply."

In the Cambridge Encyclopedia (one of our Top 10 Reference Works for Writers and Editors), Crystal spends several hundred pages examining all aspects of the English language, including its history and vocabulary, regional and social variations, and the differences between spoken and written English.

But it's the chapters on English grammar that are central to his book, just as grammar itself is central to any study of language. Crystal opens his chapter on "Grammar Mythology" with a list of six reasons to study grammar--reasons worth pausing to think about.


For the complete article, go to David Crystal's Six Good Reasons to Study Grammar.


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Image: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, second edition, by David Crystal (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

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