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For a few years, I taught writing and editing courses for businesses. Some workshops flew; others foundered on the simplest points.
Pharmaceutical companies, in particular, often hired Asian immigrants. I’ve no doubt they were well qualified, highly trained, even brilliant. They had studied English. But they came from languages that didn’t use little things like prepositions. Or articles. Or even commas.
“Why you need ‘the’ before noun?” someone might ask.
Or perhaps, “Why sometimes ‘agree with,’ sometimes ‘agree to,’ sometimes ‘agree on’?”
I offered examples. They would ask, “Where we find book that teach us these rules?”
There isn’t one. Or more accurately, there are hundreds.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: rules, Language, authorities, fluency