March 19, 2009

Woe is I by Patricia T. O'Conner

In all my schooling, there have only been two subjects that have disgusted me: biology and grammar. I could do without both. So when I tell you this book about grammar is interesting and informative, that's saying something, right?

Woe is I: the Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English is just that.

I feel like I have a decent grasp on grammar, but since I started writing a novel, I wanted a refresher course to help me remember the important but elusive rules of the use of the English language.

This book was the perfect choice. She covers many basic concepts, but also ones that I must have blotted out of my memory in self-defense. Yet she does all this in simple and entertaining language. She gives helpful hints as to common mistakes, and more importantly, tells you where the rules are made to be broken. For example: in all but formal writing, the use of "whom" can be thrown out the window. The English language does not stay static. (No worries though: she doesn't throw all rules out the window and finds text-speech as unnecessary and annoying as I do).

If you struggle with grammar or just want to sound more intelligent, I would recommend this book.

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