• Firstly, I don't know the meaning of "grammatical logic".

  • Secondly, I don't understand the relationship between "grammatical logic" and "correction".

Could you please explain it to me?

The text is here:

None of my professors at BYU had examined my writing the way Professor Steinberg did. No comma, no period, no adjective or adverb was beneath his interest. He made no distinction between grammar and content, between form and substance. A poorly written sentence was a poorly conceived idea, and in his view the grammatical logic was as much in need of correction. “Tell me,” he would say, “why have you placed this comma here? What relationship between these phrases are you hoping to establish?” When I gave my explanation sometimes he would say, “Quite right,” and other times he would correct me with lengthy explanations of syntax.

Educated by Tara Westover

  • 1
    I think you can understand logic there to mean rationale (i.e. for his recommendations and criticisms relating to syntax, punctuation, and phrasing). Your second question is about a sentence which Professor Steinberg would probably have circled. :-) The author doesn't mean to say correction but attention. The phrasing of an idea is not less important than the idea itself.
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 11:41

1 Answer 1

  1. grammatical logic – Prof. Steinberg "made no distinction between grammar and content". That is, he quite properly felt that the logical meaning of a proposition can only be discerned through its form. Grammar itself possesses a 'logic'—a formal structure through which meaning is discerned.

  2. The author has left it to the reader to infer the complement of the comparative construction: the grammatical logic was as much in need of correction as the logic of the idea. "Poor writing reflects a poorly conceived idea", and a writer refines and corrects her ideas by refining and correcting her grammar.

  3. No comma [...] was beneath his interest means "No comma [...] was too trivial for him to take into consideration", and his fastening on a particular comma is an example of this.

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