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

3.57 (802 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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." Now, in this offbeat history, 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, from grumpy grammarians and crossword-puzzle aficionados to students of literature and lovers of language.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 150 pages
  • 180.34 x 213.36 x 10.16mm | 249.47g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156034433
  • 9780156034432
  • 474,148

Back cover copy

A SLATE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A PEOPLE PICK FOR WORD LOVERS
This gem from copyeditor Florey is a bracing ode to grammar. People
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.
Now, in Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, an offbeat history that any language lover will adore, Florey explores the sentence-diagramming phenomenon and what diagrams of famous writers' sentences reveal about them.
Along the way, she offers up her own commonsense approach to learning and using good grammar. And she answers some of literature's most pressing questions: Was Mark Twain or James Fenimore Cooper a better grammarian? Can knowing how to diagram a sentence make your life better? And what's Gertrude Stein got to do with any of it?
A pleasantly discursive and affectionate tribute to an antiquated art. The Wall Street Journal
You don't have to be over age 50 or a Catholic school graduate to enjoy Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog . . . Florey's keen memories of being schooled in this art and her humorous affection for it are contagious . . . Try it, you ll like it." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Florey writes with verve about the nuns who taught her to render the English language as a mess of slanted lines, explains how diagrams work, and traces the bizarre history of the men who invented this odd pedagogical tool . . . It s a great read."--Slate
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."
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Review Text

PRAISE FOR SISTER BERNADETTE?S BARKING DOG

"Florey writes with verve about the nuns who taught her to render the English language as a mess of slanted lines, explains how diagrams work, and traces the bizarre history of the men who invented this odd pedagogical tool . . . It?s a great read."--Slate

"This gem from copyeditor Florey is a bracing ode to grammar: it?s laced with a survivor?s nostalgia for classrooms ruled by knuckle-cracking nuns who knew their participles."?People
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR "SISTER BERNADETTE'S BARKING DOG"

"Florey writes with verve about the nuns who taught her to render the English language as a mess of slanted lines, explains how diagrams work, and traces the bizarre history of the men who invented this odd pedagogical tool . . . It's a great read."--"Slate "



"This gem from copyeditor Florey is a bracing ode to grammar: it's laced with a survivor's nostalgia for classrooms ruled by knuckle-cracking nuns who knew their participles."--"People "
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Rating details

802 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 18% (143)
4 36% (288)
3 35% (280)
2 9% (72)
1 2% (19)
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