What do fractals, grammar, and Jack Kerouac have in common?

 

 

 

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Maybe more than you think.

MaryAnn Duffy has written a wondrously eye-opening piece about the parallels between fractal geometry in nature and the structure and evolution of grammar and language. Long story short: the same patterns and principles that explain why a coastline or a cauliflower or a conifer take the form they do also explains why your kids won’t get the same crap from teachers you did for ending a sentence with a preposition.

It’s fascinating to consider. In nature, fractals reveal an underlying relationship between the part (a tree) and the whole (a forest). If grammar follows this same function…what might the whole it relates to be?