July 15, 2012

Review - Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time (Mignon Fogarty)

Millions of people around the world communicate better thanks to Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, whose top-rated weekly grammar podcast has been downloaded more than 40 million times. Now she’s turning her attention to solving your worst problems—one troublesome word at a time.Are you feeling "all right" or "alright"? Does "biweekly" mean twice a week or every two weeks? Do you run a gauntlet or a gantlet? Is a pair of twins four people or two? The English language is always changing, and that means we are left with words and phrases that are only sort of wrong (or worse, have different definitions depending on where you look them up). How do you know which to use? Grammar Girl to the rescue! This handy reference guide contains the full 411 on 101 words that have given you trouble before—but will never again. Full of clear, straightforward definitions and fun quotations from pop culture icons such as Gregory House and J. K. Rowling, as well as from classical writers such as Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, this highly-useable guidebook takes the guesswork out of your writing, so you’ll never be at a loss for words again.


Review
We've established when to use their, there and they're. Other words are a bit more tricky. In yet another installation of the Grammar Girl series, Mignon Fogarty presents 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time. Based upon the fact that language isn't static but ever changing there are plenty of words and expressions where it's often hard to be sure of not only how to write them correctly, but even more so use them in the right context. Obviously I've been using momentarily wrong all these years, and I have this slight feeling I might not be the only one.
Admittedly, at first I thought this would be a book for kids who never really paid attention at school and really need to brush up their grammar. Three pages later that impression was replaced by the realization that this is the kind of guidebook for literally anyone. Having learned English as a second language, and despite considering myself to have a pretty good grasp on it, this has been a tremendously helpful and illuminating read for me. The explanations on when (not) to use certain terms or expressions is spruced up with information on their origins and examples from classic books straight to your favorite series on TV. As dull as such a book might appear at first glance I promise you will not just learn a thing or two, it's also quite an entertaining page turner!
In short: Smart and instructive style guide not just for the grammar-impaired!

4/5 Trees

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

3 comments:

  1. This sounds like something I might enjoy as well.

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  2. I only recently subscribed to Grammar Girl's podcast on iTunes, but already have found it to be very enlightening and entertaining. She is also featuring a couple of entries from this book, which I must admit offer words that have plagued me over the years. I may have to pick up it sometime. Nice review.

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  3. thanks for reviewing, it seems this book would help me a lot!

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