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Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spiteby June Casagrande
Synopses & Reviews
What do suicidal pandas, doped-up rock stars, and a naked Pamela Anderson have in common? They?re all a heck of a lot more interesting than reading about predicate nominatives and hyphens. June Casagrande knows this and has invented a whole new twist on the grammar book. Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies is a laugh-out-loud funny collection of anecdotes and essays on grammar and punctuation, as well as hilarious critiques of the self-appointed language experts.
"Hoping to make grammar both accessible and amusing, Casagrande offers practical and entertaining lessons on common uses and unfortunate abuses of the English language. The author, a southern California newspaper columnist, memorably delineates 'who' and 'whom'; 'can' and 'may'; 'affect' and 'effect'; and provides pithy primers on the perennially problematic dark alleys of language (subjunctives, how to use punctuation marks around quoted material, possessive gerunds). In brief, cleverly titled sections, she addresses a slew of grammar and punctuation questions: 'To Boldly Blow' examines the issue of split infinitives, 'Snobbery Up With Which You Should Not Put' tackles prepositions and 'Is That a Dangler in Your Memo or Are You Just Glad to See Me?' pokes fun at dangling modifiers and the confusion they create. By also touching on e-mail and text messaging, where traditional rules are commonly ignored, Casagrande keeps the discussion current. She maintains her sass and her sense of humor throughout, at one point calling the hyphen 'a nasty, tricky, evil little mark that gets its kicks igniting arguments...the Bill Maher of punctuation.' Readers intimidated by style manuals and Lynne Truss will enjoy this populist grammar reference." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This lively book with humorous essays is a sure winner." Children's Literature
"Both sassy and edifying, Casagrande's little tome will be especially useful to those in search of basic grammar instruction." Booklist
The antidote to Eats, Shoots and Leaves is an uproarious and very American word book for those who are tired of getting pulled over by the grammar police.
What do suicidal pandas, doped-up rock stars, and a naked Pamela Anderson have in common? They’re all a heck of a lot more interesting than reading about predicate nominatives and hyphens. June Casagrande knows this and has invented a whole new twist on the grammar book. Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies is a laugh-out-loud funny collection of anecdotes and essays on grammar and punctuation, as well as hilarious critiques of the self-appointed language experts.
Casagrande delivers practical and fun language lessons not found anywhere else, demystifying the subject and taking it back from the snobs. In short, it’s a grammar book people will actually want to read—just for the fun of it.
About the Author
June Casagrande writes the popular and very humorous "A Word, Please" grammar column for four Los Angeles Times community newspapers. She has written over 900 articles for various newspapers and magazines and has four years of improvisational comedy training.
Table of Contents
Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies Introduction: Grammar Snobs Make Good Prison Brides
1. A Snob For All Seasons—Shared Possessives
2. For Whom The Snob Trolls—"Who"/"Whom" and Why You're Right Not to Care
3. Passing The Simpsons Test— It's "Till," Not "Til"
4. To Boldly Blow—Only Windbags Fuss over Split Infinitives
5. The Sexy Mistake—"To Lay" versus "To Lie"
6. Snobbery Up With Which You Should Not Put—Prepositions
7. Is That A Dangler In Your Memo Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?
8. An Open Letter To Someone Who Knows I Once Tried To Be A Grammar Snob But Failed—"Dreamed" versus "Dreamt," "Preventive" versus "Preventative," and Similar Pairs
9. Anarchy Rules— "Adviser"/Advisor," "Titled"/"Entitled," and Other Ways to Be Right and Wrong at the Same Time
10. The Comma Denominator—Good News: No One Knows How to Use These Things
11. Semicolonoscopy—Colons, Semicolons, Dashes, Hyphens, and Other Probing Annoyances
12. The O.C.: Where The '80s Never Die—Lessons on the Apostrophe from Behind the Orange Curtain
13. Go Ahead, Make Up Your Own Words—Prefixes and Suffixes and Why the Dictionary Thinks You're Wrong
14. Hyphens: Life-Sucking, Mom-And-Apple-Pie-Hating, Mime-Loving, Nerd-Fight-Inciting Daggers Of The Damned
15. I'll Take "I Feel Like A Moron" For $200, Alex—When to Put Punctuation Inside Quotation Marks
16. A Chapter Dedicated To Those Other Delights Of Punctuation
17. Copulative Conjunctions: Hot Stuff For The Truly Desperate—Conjunctions to Know and Conjunctions That Blow
18. R U Uptite?—Shortcuts in the Digital Age and the Meanies Who Hate Them
19. Literally Schmiterally
20. How To Drop Out Of High School In The Ninth Grade And Still Make Big Bucks Telling People How To Use Good Grammar—"That" versus "Which"
21. Well, Well, Aren't You Good?—Adverbs Love Action
22. Fodder For Those Mothers—"Irregardless" and Other Slipups We Nonsnobs Can't Afford
23. I Wish I Were Batgirl—The Subjunctive Mood
24. Mommy's All Wrong, Daddy's All Wrong—The Truth about "Cans" and "Dones"
[25. The Kids Are All Wrong—"Alright," Dropping "The" Before "the The," Where to Put Your "Only," and Other Lessons from the World of Rock 'n' Roll
26. How To Impress Brad Pitt—"Affect" versus "Effect"
27. And You Too Can Begin Sentences With "And," "So," "But," And "Because"
28. Your Boss Is Not Jesus—Possessives and Words Ending in "S," "X," and "Z"
29. The Silence Of The Linguists—Double Possessives and Possessives with Gerunds
30. I'm Writing This While Naked—The Oh-So-Steamy Predicate Nominative
31. I Wish I May, I Wish I Might For Once In My Life Get This One Right—"May" versus "Might," "Different From" versus "Different Than," "Between" versus "Among," and Other Problematic Pairs
32. A Backyard Barbecue In The Back Yard, A Front-Yard Barbecue In The Front Yard—The Magical Moment When Two Words Become One
33. How To Never, Ever Offend Anyone With Inadvertently Sexist Or Racist Language
34. Complete Sentences? Optional!
35. It's/Its A Classroom Ditz—Or How I Learned to Stop Fuming and Love the Jerkwad
36. Eight, Nine, 10, 11—How to Write Numbers
37. If At First You Don't Irk A Snob, Try And Try Again—"Try To" versus "Try And"
38. Express Lane Of Pain—"Less Than" versus "Fewer Than"
39. Agree To Dis A Meanie—Subject-Verb Agreement, Conjugating Verbs for "None" and "Neither," and Other Agreement Issues
40. The Emperor's New Clause—Pronouns That Are Objects and Subjects, "Each Other" versus "One Another," and More Evidence That the "Experts" Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be
41. Satan's Vocabulary
42. You Really Can Look It Up
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