Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time by Mignon Fogarty

Writing can be hard. Not only do you have to take an empty page and fill it with words, you also have to be careful to avoid misspellings, grammar errors, and using the wrong word. Where can you go to find out the answers to all of your grammar questions? The Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, has been solving people's tough questions for years, and in 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time she takes on some tough words that you might have spent some time scratching your head over in the past - but scratch no more, because help is on the way!

I find word usage really interesting; I like learning about how words have changed over time and what the origins of certain words are. It seems like a lot of the confusion over words or tenses comes from a tension between British usage and American usage; Canadian usage is often a mixture of the two, so even with this book as a guide things still seemed to be a bit up in the air. I am most familiar with Grammar Girl on Twitter and had never really checked out her site, so her style of writing was new to me. I liked it. It was conversational and forgiving and less "hard and fast" than I was expecting a grammar guide to be. Grammar purists might not like all of the "in common usage, you can probably keep doing what you're doing" advice, but I really respect her focus on clear meaning rather than the strict following of grammar rules (and besides, grammar purists are probably busy pulling their hair out over Twitter or reality TV or something like that). Including examples from TV, movies, and books also helped to ground the discussion in actual real-world usage. If you're working for an organization that has its own style guide, you should definitely stick to that, but if you're looking for some helpful clarifications for your own writing, this is one title that you will want to peruse.

Check out the Grammar Girl website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of St. Martin's Press.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time by Mignon Fogarty
Grammar Girl's 101 Words to Sound Smart by Mignon Fogarty
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
I Used to Know That by Caroline Taggert

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