My Favorite Book on English

Patricia O’Conner has done it again: she has updated and revised her classic book on writing and English usage, Woe Is I. I can hardly tell you how much I love this book. Before you stop reading, let me tell you that you will laugh out loud on just about every page. OK, read on. O’Conner realizes how all languages change over time, which is why she revised this classic book to fit with current and accepted usage. This is the fourth edition and, as English changes, there will be a fifth and a sixth and a twentieth.

O’Conner writes in everyday English. Here are a few chapter titles:

PLURALS BEFORE SWINE  Blunders with Numbers

YOURS TRULY  The Possessive and the Possessed

COMMA SUTRA  The Joy of Punctuation

DEATH SENTENCE   Do Clichés Deserve to Die?

THE LIVING DEAD    Let Bygone Rules Be Gone

Here’s an explanation about subject-verb agreement: “A substance was stuck to Sam’s shoe.”  Or  “A green, slimy, and foul-smelling substance was stuck to Sam’s shoe.” O’Conner adds, “The subject is substance and it stays singular no matter how many disgusting adjectives you pile on.”

See? Not your typical book about English and writing. This one is Wonderful. Entertaining. Fun. Comprehensible. Helpful. Essential.

O’Conner also has a blog to which she posts almost every day, giving explanations about questions people (including me) have submitted. If you subscribe, you’ll get it in your inbox. It’s definitely not spam: www.grammarphobia.com

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

Filed under All things having to do with the English language

3 responses to “My Favorite Book on English

  1. KATHY SANDEL

    Judy, I love this! I signed up for her blog and I will buy the book probably a million times as gifts!

    Please note, my new email is: katsandu9@gmail.com (I am in the process of closing the sbcglobal account.) Thanks, Kathy Sandel

    >

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  2. Kathy, you will love the book! Pat’s style is so witty, so clever, and so enlightening. She’s the English teacher everyone wishes they had. (BTW, that “everyone-they” combo she addresses in this newest edition. Used to be incorrect; now it’s an option.

    I’ve changed your email address. Thanks for writing!

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  3. I forgot to close the parenthesis. Tsk, tsk.

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