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Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll…

Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time (Quick and…

by Mignon Fogarty

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This is an interesting book, a lot of the words in here I had no idea there was any debate. But I think it would have been a little more interesting had there been a little more background on each word--every word had 2 pages, max, and not much was on those two pages.

But this is good for a quick reference if you're unsure. ( )
  lovelylime | Sep 21, 2013 |
This is a great book to have at your fingertips. Have you ever asked yourself 'Is it affect or effect' or 'Do you lie on a bed or lay on a bed?' So many times these words are confused. Mignon Fogarty takes on 101 words that cause a lot of trouble in the English language.
This book goes through the words in alphabetical order. Fogarty uses excerpts and quotations from well-known books to illustrate her points. She also includes some 'quick and dirty tips' to help you remember the correct way to use certain words.
Overall I think this is a good book for anyone to keep handy. If you often get confused over which word is the right word then this book is for you. ( )
  mt256 | Sep 16, 2012 |
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! ( )
  BLehner | Jul 15, 2012 |

I've read a lot of style guides over the years (mostly for fun--I'm that kind of nerd) and I consider myself to have fairly good grammar. The problem is, I imagine everyone thinks they have good grammar and we can't all be right.

In the first season of the fantastic show, American Horror Story, Marcy the realtor tells the unfortunate couple who wants to sell their haunted house and thinks they've at least decorated it with style, "Everyone thinks they have good taste and everyone thinks they're funny. Most people are wrong."

That's how I feel about grammar. I assume I know all the rules, but then I find myself breaking the rules here and there (call it poetic license or internet casualness) until eventually it becomes a habit and I forget what the rules are in the first place. I'm sure there are several mistakes in the paragraph above, for example.

So perhaps I'll check a style guide, just to be sure. I may dust off a copy of Strunk & White or even flip through Eats, Shoots & Leaves to find out if it's all right to say alright (sometimes my spell check just doesn't know). The problem is, sometimes these experts disagree. How do I, a mere grammar civilian, know who to believe?

Enter Grammar Girl. What sets this style guide apart from others is the format. Each "troublesome word" is first presented as a query. Why is this word confusing? What's the debate? Using the example of "alright," Grammar Girl tells us that although most style guides and sticklers will insist that "all right" is the only acceptable option, the one-word alternative has been in use for decades and will only continue on. The book then gives some examples of the word in usage, quoting from a wide variety of high and low culture (including TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dexter...I suspect Mignon Fogarty would have approved of my American Horror Story reference) and then concludes with the most valuable feature: "What Should I Do?" In this section, the author gives practical advice about when and why you should choose one spelling, usage, phrase, etc., over another, and when you should just give up and abandon the phrase altogether.

I loved this book. I could read (and re-read) this book cover to cover. Some pages are great reminders for little grammar mistakes (or grammar misunderstandings, I like to think) that I make all the time, while others are just entertaining short essays that include quotes from TV shows that I haven't seen in a while. Yay!!

For more reviews, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley.com. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own. ( )
  CozyBookJournal | Jun 21, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312573472, Paperback)

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.  

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:14 -0400)

The best-selling author of Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again presents a new lexicon of frequently misused words that provides clear definitions, usage examples and skill-building memory tricks.

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