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Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad…

Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad English (edition 2005)

by James Cochrane

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Title:Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad English
Authors:James Cochrane
Info:Sourcebooks, Inc. (2005), Hardcover, 160 pages
Collections:Your library

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Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad English by James Cochrane



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(25 December 2012)

Drawn from columns in The Times, fulminations on incorrect usage, etc. While the previous book is flexible and accepting of change, this one is a little reactionary, although it does claim to understand about descriptive rather than prescriptive description of language. Many of the topics are valid, with just a few being very old-fashioned. Many of the Troublesome Pairs that I’ve blogged about were there, and I made a few notes on new ones to include, and it was an amusing and interesting read. ( )
  LyzzyBee | Aug 3, 2013 |
Cochrane has collected examples of improper English, including grammatical errors, pronunciation, and words easily confused with each other, and attempts to educate the reader as to the correct usage. Cochrane is British, and as such, all of his examples originated in that country's publications. I assume that they remain applicable to American English, but I am not sure.
The book is not pleasant to read straight through, as I soon found out, but taken in short segments, such as on break at work, it is more palatable.
Some of these common errors were well known to me, but I was horrified to learn how many I'd been going about using improperly for some time. However, I'm not sure this was entirely positive, as I am now more of a grammar nazi than I already was! ( )
  EmScape | Aug 13, 2011 |
From the author's preface one would get the impression that he takes umbrage with the idea that his little book of bad English arises from his snobbery about the English language. I, however, did find the preface and forward along with many of the entries to be written in a hoity-toity manner. Despite this I also found the book to be informative, humorous and interesting. Written rather like a dictionary with all the author's bugaboos lined up in alphabetical order he takes us on a spin of similar words with dissimilar meanings, accepted phrases that are just plain wrong and common slang which he either finds is "an abuse of our language" or "a lost cause" based on his personal preference.

Yes, I will admit that I discovered many of these errors to be ones I commit with alarming regularity. In fact, I've probably committed a few of them in writing this review as much as I try not to. I was also delighted when I came across entries of errors and words I already knew about.

Another interesting thing about this book was its incontrovertibly British stand point (despite his being Scottish) and I enjoyed the references and not so subtle jabs. Although Mr. Cochrane would probably weep despondently should he ever have an opportunity to converse with me or read anything I've ever written, I will say I enjoyed his book and plan to hang on to it for future reference purposes. ( )
5 vote Jenson_AKA_DL | Mar 29, 2009 |
a book on grammar and words.
Nice fun! ( )
  DaveFragments | Apr 20, 2007 |
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