Grammar Girls Quick and Dirty Tips - Mignon FogartyThis book was created by a woman who runs an active podcast. That is, she is used to doing weekly little "tips" about how to handle a grammar situation. That's very cool in a quick-blurb world, but you can really see those roots in this book. There's no real coherence here, and if you pick the book up looking for help with a given situation you'll have to dig to find the answer. One chapter is called "I'm So Stylish". What is that about? Apparently it's about writing "I'm sooooooooooooo happy" and that not being good grammar. Would I have ever thought to look in that chapter for that information? Would I have ever really wondered if spelling so with 18 Os was correct?
The book is cute. If you read little snippets every day - perhaps as a "bathroom book" - you're sure to pick up some tips here. You learn about "that" vs "who". You learn about "like" vs "as". You might think a lot of these differences are minor. If you do a Google search you're sure to find people using every mis-spelling that exists, and breaking every grammar rule. However, it all comes down to being professional to your audience. If you continually mis-spell "existence" maybe 50% of your readers won't care - but the other 50% will be more and more turned off by your repeated mistakes.
If we want to communicate clearly, it certainly is in all of our best interest to learn the proper rules and to try our best to follow them. I'm sure we can all name awful websites we have been to where the grammar was so awful that we could not follow what the person was saying. There are of course different degrees of this problem - so the more clearly you can write, the better!
So in general I agree greatly with the premise. I think we should all learn to write more clearly. I just have found that convert-to-book-from-the-web books tend to suffer in the organizational area. I recently read another book from a "popular blog turned into a book" and it had the exact same problem. It had lots of random tips sort of loosely put into chapters.
A fun read, but I would definitely get other more clearly organized books on grammar for your daily use and education.
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