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

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History And Lost Art Of Diagramming Sentences

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog is a 2006 book by author Kitty Burns Florey about the history and art of sentence diagramming. Florey learned to diagram sentences as a Catholic school student at St. John the Baptist Academy in Syracuse, New York. Diagramming sentences is useful, Florey says, because it teaches us to "focus on the structures and patterns of language, and this can help us appreciate it as more than just a vehicle for expressing minimal ideas". Florey said in a 2012 essay "Taming Sentences":

When we unscrew a sentence, figure out what makes it tick and reassemble it, we interact with our old familiar language differently, more deeply, responding to the way its individual components fit together. Once we understand how sentences work (what’s going on? what action is taking place? who is doing it and to whom is it being done?), it’s harder to write an incorrect one.

Sentence diagramming was introduced by Brainerd Kellogg and Alonzo Reid, professors at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, in their book History of English published in 1877.

Read more about Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History And Lost Art Of Diagramming Sentences:  Reception

Famous quotes containing the words lost, art, sentences, sister and/or barking:

    France has lost a battle. But France has not lost the war!
    Charles De Gaulle (1890–1970)

    The foundation of empire is art & science. Remove them or degrade them, & the empire is no more. Empire follows art & not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.
    William Blake (1757–1827)

    The most striking aspect of linguistic competence is what we may call the ‘creativity of language,’ that is, the speaker’s ability to produce new sentences, sentences that are immediately understood by other speakers although they bear no physical resemblance to sentences which are ‘familiar.’
    Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)

    Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.
    Bible: New Testament, Mark 3:35.

    Jesus.

    His life itself passes deeper in nature than the studies of the naturalist penetrate; himself a subject for the naturalist. The latter raises the moss and bark gently with his knife in search of insects; the former lays open logs to their core with his axe, and moss and bark fly far and wide. He gets his living by barking trees. Such a man has some right to fish, and I love to see nature carried out in him.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)