GRAMMAR SNOBS ARE GREAT BIG MEANIES PDF

New York: Penguin Books, Subtitled A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite, this slim volume promises to be a treat for the word maven: a sugar-coated guide to grammar and usage that will entertain while it informs. The difference is bloodlust. At the very least, we must learn a little about grammar and usage for the sheer thrill of taking down these grammar tyrants, one at a time, just to watch them fall. The lessons themselves are not bad.

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Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss took a snarkily modern look at the topic of grammar; more to the point it took a snarkily modern look at those who misuse, mangle, and otherwise maltreat the language.

A copy editor who also writes a language column for "several community news supplements to the Los Angeles Times," Casagrande has struck the first blow for leftpondians with her own slender tome. Weighing in at a massive pages including acknowledgments and bibliography and comprising forty-two chapters, her retort is the snappily titled Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies: a Guide to Language for Fun and Spite.

Yours truly is considered by some a grammar snob, though Casagrande would likely never bother with such small potatoes as "the Grammar Curmudgeon. Why Truss is called a "pandaphile" is beyond me, however, since her book refers to Opal Fruits about six million times and the panda joke but once. But I digress She simply researches a usage question in two different references — usually the University of Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook.

Whenever she finds a discrepancy - of which there are many, because the AP Stylebook is the grammatical equivalent of a two-dollar whore - Casagrande sticks out a metaphorical tongue and screeches "See! I told you! Grammar Snobs… is chock full of with its own grammatical errors and misstatements, a veritable cornucopia of bad advice slathered generously with witticism or half so.

For a descriptivist, language is dynamic and whatever is in common usage is "right. Consider the "singular they" question.

A prescriptivist shudders upon hearing a sentence such as "Ask the next person in line if they have a pencil.

Casagrande falls in an entirely new to me, anyway third group: "mescriptivists," those grammarians who simply say, "Do it my way! Oh, and she never does tackle the singular they question. Of course, she does tackle many a common question - in fact, with the exception of a chapter entitled "R U Uptite? Hmmm, based on that author photograph see sidebar , not an entirely uninteresting topic Is it snobbish and mean to expect a self-proclaimed authority to apply correct usage?

Given that Casagrande also has the benefit of a stable of editors over at Penguin, one should expect a minimum of errors in a book on this topic. Not so, however. Within the first few chapters, the author displays a tenuous grasp of the concept of an infinitive. More power to anyone who can make it fun enough that "the great unwashed" will browse through a stylebook in hopes of finding something funny.

Who knows? Perhaps a few people will learn something. On the other hand, Casagrande spends far too much time and space playing "gotcha" with her reference books, and not enough time covering the basics. Instead of sitting around thinking up flippant prose and catchy examples, Casagrande should probably have spent more time and effort proofing her book.

Were there fewer grammatical errors and less of that egregious sexualit y , the book might be suitable for an 8th-grade composition class.

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But theres a good reason to learn. So good that its worth overcoming the visceral aversion to the word that these grammar snobs have instilled in us. And here is that reason: About half the people you hear spewing the word whom in everyday conversation dont really know how. Punctuation, another bugbear, too is pretty darn simple.

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Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss took a snarkily modern look at the topic of grammar; more to the point it took a snarkily modern look at those who misuse, mangle, and otherwise maltreat the language. A copy editor who also writes a language column for "several community news supplements to the Los Angeles Times," Casagrande has struck the first blow for leftpondians with her own slender tome. Weighing in at a massive pages including acknowledgments and bibliography and comprising forty-two chapters, her retort is the snappily titled Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies: a Guide to Language for Fun and Spite. Yours truly is considered by some a grammar snob, though Casagrande would likely never bother with such small potatoes as "the Grammar Curmudgeon. Why Truss is called a "pandaphile" is beyond me, however, since her book refers to Opal Fruits about six million times and the panda joke but once. But I digress She simply researches a usage question in two different references — usually the University of Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook.

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