Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 150 pages
A delightfully offbeat history of the art and science of sentence diagramming by a veteran copyeditor and writer. Grumpy grammarians, crossword-puzzle aficionados, and lovers of language will appreciate this book.

In its heyday, sentence diagramming was wildly popular in grammar schools across the country. Kitty Burns Florey learned the method in sixth grade from Sister Bernadette: It was a bit like art, a bit like mathematics. It was a picture of language. I was hooked.

Florey explores the sentence-diagramming phenomenon, including its humble roots at the Brooklyn Polytechnic, its balloon diagram predecessor, and what diagrams of famous writers' sentences reveal about them. Along the way, Florey offers up her own commonsense approach to learning and using good grammar. Charming, fun, and instructive, Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog will be treasured by all kinds of readers.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
7
3 stars
8
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ffortsa - LibraryThing

This is a slight, funny book about the art of diagramming sentences, written by a copy editor and author who knows her stuff. Florey's touch is light, and toward the end of the book she shows a more ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mkboylan - LibraryThing

How embarrassing is that? I loved diagramming sentences when I was in grade school, and I often thought my college students would have constructed much better sentences if they had learned to do so. I ... Read full review

Contents

TIMES CHANGE
17
GENERAL RULES
35
POETRY GRAMMAR
61
YOUSE AINT GOT NO CLASS
103
DIAGRAMMING REDUX
125
AFTERWORD
147
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

KITTY BURNS FLOREY, a veteran copyeditor, is the author of nine novels and many short stories and essays. A longtime Brooklyn resident, she now divides her time between central Connecticut and upstate New York with her husband, Ron Savage.

Bibliographic information