September 26, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount Saint Mary College’s Writing Center and the campus improv acting troupe teamed up to bring students three sessions of Syntax Improv this month
Through a series of sessions held by the Mount Saint Mary College Writing Center and Improvology, the Mount’s improv acting troupe, students are broadening their knowledge of grammatical syntax and having some laughs in the process.
The sessions, three in total, featured a number of educational and entertaining exercises. One had attendees revising sentences generated through an improv game known as Word Up. This game required attendees to generate a topic. The improvisers then began listing words, each associated with the one listed before it, until the actors circled back to the original topic.
Another exercise demonstrated the contextual differences that improper syntax can make. One example of this demonstration contrasted two sentences, both intending to describe a boy handing his sibling a slice of buttered bread. One of the sentences, however, inadvertently implied that the sibling, not the slice of bread, was buttered. The improvisers hilariously acted out two simultaneous scenes: One portraying a normal interaction about handing a sibling a buttered sandwich and the other detailing a disappointed brother watching his sibling slather himself in butter.
The Mount Saint Mary College Writing Center assists students in all stages of the writing process including brainstorming and organizing ideas; structuring sentences, paragraphs, and essays; strengthening argumentation; incorporating research and appropriate systems of citation; improving grammar and style; and more. The Writing Center also works closely with Mount faculty to engender a culture of writing on campus and sponsors various writing-related events and programs.