My Mukor and I were talking about our antiquated public school system which led to other subjects, and he made a point that I didn't have a good answer for.
My Mukor: "Why do they teach parts of speech in grade school?"
Me: "Uh... What do you mean?"
My Mukor: "Nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs - why is this knowledge important to grade school children? These are details that Linguistic and English Literature majors may want to delve into, but I don't see the necessity of teaching this otherwise."
Me: "...I dunno. Perhaps it is a helpful tool for teachers when getting children to understand how to write. Maybe it helps to break it into smaller parts."
My Mukor: "But children know how to talk from example. Knowing that they are using NOUNS and VERBS has no intrisic value to this process. And, when a child writes, they write like they talk. I really don't see the point."
I got nothin'! I have no good reason why we are taught the parts of speech. Of course, this conversation started because I asked what part of speech "afternoon" was. I asked if it was an adverb or a noun? He didn't know, and so began the discussion of why this was important to fill his brain up with.
Frankly, I think he was just coming up with a reason to excuse his lack of basic knowledge after getting a 800 on the English portion of the SAT.