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As someone who has taught off and on at schools and universities as a guest lecturer and as a department chair, one of the great concerns in academia is the breakdown of linguistics and composition. For a while, the deconstructionist movement hastened the demise of effective communication by urging everyone to think nothing has any real meaning. Happily, it hasn’t survived the 21st Century very well. That’s because, as every intelligent person knows, words do have meaning, language has meaning, and communication is important, whether you’re just buying groceries or designing a rocket to the moon. Professor Brooks Landon’s great course, BUILDING GREAT SENTENCES:  EXPLORING THE WRITER’S CRAFT by The Teaching Company®, shows the value of good communication. It is an extremely helpful video for anyone who wants to write clearly and powerfully.
Starting with the 17th Century French grammarian proposition, “Invisible God created the visible world,” Landon explores propositions and meaning, how sentences grow, how to create suspense, and, in general, how to communicate clearly with vigor. The course title speaks for itself. It is at once the history of building great sentences and also a current reflection on how the viewer or listener can improve his writing.
To his credit, Professor Landon is interested in the student, not in promoting a particular political or philosophical viewpoint. He makes this point several times. He’s not trying to be Noam Chomsky or any of the other linguistic iconoclasts. He’s trying to help students learn what works and how to make their language work. Bravo!

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