Monday, 3 October 2011


前英國首相,諾貝爾文學獎得主 Winston Churchill 在讀書時期受過嚴格的文法教育,成就了他日後在文學和演講上的成功。看看他在自傳 "My Early Life" 中對文法學習的描述:
We were considered such dunces [遲鈍的學生] that we could learn only English.  Mr Somervell - a most delightful man, to whom my debt is great - was charged with [使承擔責任] the duty of teaching the stupidest boys the most disregarded thing - namely, to write mere English.  He knew how to do it.  He taught it as no one else has ever taught it.  Not only did we learn English parsing [句法分析] thoroughly, but we also practised continually English analysis.  Mr Somervell had a system of his own.  He took a fairly long sentence and broke it up into its components by means of black, red, blue, and green inks.  Subject, verb, object: Relative Clauses, Conditional Clauses, Conjunctive and Disjunctive Clauses!  Each had its colour and its bracket.  It was a kind of drill.  We did it almost daily.  As I remained in the Third Form three times as long as anyone else, I had three times as much of it.  I learned it thoroughly.  Thus I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence - which is a noble thing.  And when in after years [在以後的歲月裡] my schoolfellows who had won prizes and distinction for writing such beautiful Latin poetry and pithy [精煉的] Greek epigrams [詼諧短詩] had to come down again to common English, to earn their living or make their way [前進], I did not feel myself at any disadvantage.  Naturally I am biased in favor of boys learning English.  I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat.  But the only thing I would whip them for is not knowing English, I would whip them hard for that.


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