I also found the Micciche essay very compelling. I, for one, am opposed to the instruction of and reinforcement of “proper grammar” like it’s the neo-plague but the piece was extremely convincing. I thoroughly found the Micciche’s idea that the ability to know how to manipulate grammar is a way in which to continue the classroom project of critical thinking and performing cultural critique. She considering it, vis-a-vis Didion, a kind of “shaping of meaning” which was so riveting. This idea of the “shaping of meaning”came up a few weeks back. I was making a rather charged attack against grammar and my ghostly predecessors/contemporaries who enforce/d it. To my delight, a student whose native language was not English, raised his hand in defense grammar. He came up to the board and presented a sentence and showed the many ways in which the comma could be placed and the meany ways in which that meaning of that sentence could be altered. It was a learning moment for me and coming in contact with the Micciche piece really only strengthens this new found turn for me towards grammar.
Is grammar, then, also a part of style? Can it be recruited under the rubric of style? Be taught as style? The Milic piece also comes into conversation on the role of grammar when it comes to the second theory of style: the individualist style. I have been highlighting to students through reading and their own writing how sentence structure, word choice, and even deployment of punctuation can alter the meaning or make meaning. For instance, we were evaluating Anzaldúa‘s Borderlands/La Frontera (my personal bedside bible) and we had so many powerful conversations related to grammar, style, and even genre. I think through the readings this week and my own readings in my class I have been better able to identify ways in which to have meaningful and productive conversations about grammar that won’t seem didactic or overkill.