All my life I resisted grammar, first as a mewling adolescent diagramming sentences, then as a student of Latin and French who was baffled by the difference between gerunds and gerundives, and finally as a teacher and aspiring writer.
“How is labeling the parts going to help me (or anyone else) write better?” I asked.
Because I’m a native English speaker, and because my parents spoke standard English, I got away with it. Still I was never sure where to put the commas, and I couldn’t construct long, complex sentences like some of my writing idols. Martha Killn taught me how in Rhetorical Grammar. Now, like all new converts, I think every wanna-be Hemingway should study grammar.