Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grammar Girl’s 101 Troublesome Words You’ll Master in No Time

This book may have one of the longest titles I’ve seen in a long time, but Grammar Girl has done it again with 101 Troublesome Words You’ll Master in No Time! While I am an English teacher and this might just be my inner nerd speaking, I love how easy this book makes it to learn proper grammar – perfect for my classroom and my own personal knowledge. With words that are commonly confused and easily misused, this guide by Mignon Fogarty is ideal for everyone who wants to effectively communicate their message and sound intelligent and appropriate. With entries for words ranging from alright/all right to have got and I’d've to myriad, this covers all the basics and many more. Each entry provides the etymology (word origin) of the specific phrase and gives a brief history of how it has evolved over time and come into favor (or fallen from grace) and is broken down easily into the categories “What’s the Trouble?” and “What Should You Do?”. Furthermore, each word is used in a quote from a contemporary film, t.v. show, or article in order to show the best and most appropriate use. This book goes into great detail on appropriate usage of a wide variety of words including whom, smokey, and plethora as well as a number of phrases that are tricky as well. While I highly recommend this book, it is truly only appropriate for speakers of American English as there are a number of colloquialisms, idioms, and spelling differences that would not make sense for natives of other English speaking nations such as Canada or England.

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