Posted by: victanguera | April 11, 2012

Word Wednesday #6

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a bit of a grammar nerd. Incorrect grammar drives me nuts, so when I run across a sentence like “there has to be guidelines”, the muscles in the back of my neck knot up. Involuntarily, you know.

So for today, I bring you the ultimate grammar word. Syntax. Mostly because when I read that, my first though was: “man, don’t you know anything about syntax?” Nerd. Total nerd.

So, from Dictionary.com:

syn·tax [sin-taks] noun

1. Linguistics.

a. the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.
b. the study of the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words.
c. the rules or patterns so studied: English syntax.
d. a presentation of these: a syntax of English.
e. an instance of these: the syntax of a sentence.
2. Logic.

a. that branch of modern logic that studies the various kinds of signs that occur in a system and the possible arrangements of those signs, complete abstraction being made of the meaning of the signs.
b. the outcome of such a study when directed upon a specified language.
3. a system or orderly arrangement.
4. Computers . the grammatical rules and structural patterns governing the ordered use of appropriate words and symbols for issuing commands, writing code, etc., in a particular software application or programming language.

Origin: 1565–75;  short for earlier syntaxis  < Late Latin  < Greek sýntaxis  an arranging in order, equivalent to syntag-  ( see syntactic) + -sis -sis

From Merriam Webster:

syn·tax noun \ˈsin-ˌtaks\

Definition of SYNTAX

1a : the way in which linguistic elements (as words) are put together to form constituents (as phrases or clauses)
b : the part of grammar dealing with this
2: a connected or orderly system : harmonious arrangement of parts or elements <the syntax of classical architecture>
3: syntactics especially as dealing with the formal properties of languages or calculi

Examples of SYNTAX

  1. “I saw that she a cookie ate” is an example of incorrect syntax.
  2. Everyone has good days and bad days. Her syntax is sometimes a world unto itself. But George H.W. Bush occasionally sounded as though English were more foe than friend, and he was an astute president who managed complexity with skill and balance. —Jon Meacham, Newsweek, 13 Oct. 2008
  3. [+]more

Origin of SYNTAX

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French sintaxe, from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek, from syntassein to arrange together, from syn- + tasseinto arrange

First Known Use: 1574
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