Once a year or so I am
asked about Reed-Kellogg diagrams in conjunction with KISS Grammar. Such
diagrams can surely be used within KISS Grammar, but there are a few problems.
In the first place, years ago I included a few such diagrams on the KISS
site, only to be told that my diagrams were "wrong." Just as there are
disagreements about definitions of grammatical terms, so, it turns out,
are there disagreements about Reed-Kellogg diagrams. Add that to the fact
that such diagrams take time to make and take up a lot of space, and you
may understand why I took down the diagrams.
Hard work in our youth pays well in old age.
The diagram is from English for Use, by John H.
Beveridge and Bell M. Ryan, p. 381. I'll never forget being in a
doctor's office. When he learned that I teach English, he raved about how
much he loved such diagrams. Some people not only find such diagrams helpful,
they love them.
What I like most about diagramming is that, in relatively simple compound sentences, diagrams can show how all the words in one main clause connect to one main S/V/C pattern, and all the words in another main clause connect to the other S/V/C patterns, as in the following from the same book:
Unfortunately, the diagrams that students are given are,
as this one is, simplistic. The focus is on how to draw the diagram for
various constructions, rather than on how to diagram real sentences.
This diagram, also from the same book, illustrates how to diagram a noun clause that functions as a subject.
If we turn from diagramming simple constructions to diagramming real sentences, consider the following from Kitty Burns Florey's Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog (Melville House Publishing, 2006, p. 109.
Imagine the time it takes to make such a diagram! In a
recent discussion of diagramming on the KISS List, most contributors much
preferred the KISS system of analysis, which is much easier and faster
Programs to Assist with Diagramming
Diagramming Sentences, by Prof. G. Dalgish. http://faculty.baruch.cuny.edu/gdalgish/NewDiagramming/diagramguide.htm
This program enables people to drag and drop words into a pre made diagram structure. It is interesting, but there are some problems in getting the words to stay where they belong. (It does not allow for alternative explanations. For example, expletives are always explained as expletives.SenDraw, by UCF Department of English http://www.sendraw.ucf.edu/
I have not tried this one, but it appears to be a program comparable to "Diagramming Sentences" by Prof. Dalgish.
Hagen, Carl, "The Early History of Sentence Diagrams," http://www.polysyllabic.com/?q=olddiagrams
Kimball, Sara, "Basics of Reed-Kellogg diagrams," http://www.utexas.edu/courses/langling/e360k/handouts/diagrams/diagram_basics/basics.html
A search of the web will lead you to numerous other resources.