A picture of language (diagramming sentences)

Kitty Burns Florey (The New York Times) reviews the history of diagramming sentences. (Trevor at Language Log comments on that article and others by Florey here, here, and here.) I don’t know if I ever got excited about diagramming sentences, but I do remember enjoying it, perhaps because it was mechanically mind-lulling and I didn’t have to listen to the teacher talking about grammar.