Review: 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time by GRAMMAR GIRL!

Title: Grammar Girls' 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time
Author: Mignon Fogarty
Pages: 134
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
Rating: 5/5 Owls


Millions of people around the world communicate better thanks to Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, whose top-rated weekly grammar podcast has been downloaded more than 40 million times. Now she’s turning her attention to solving your worst problems—one troublesome word at a time.Are you feeling "all right" or "alright"? Does "biweekly" mean twice a week or every two weeks? Do you run a gauntlet or a gantlet? Is a pair of twins four people or two? The English language is always changing, and that means we are left with words and phrases that are only sort of wrong (or worse, have different definitions depending on where you look them up). How do you know which to use? Grammar Girl to the rescue! This handy reference guide contains the full 411 on 101 words that have given you trouble before—but will never again. Full of clear, straightforward definitions and fun quotations from pop culture icons such as Gregory House and J. K. Rowling, as well as from classical writers such as Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, this highly-useable guidebook takes the guesswork out of your writing, so you’ll never be at a loss for words again. 


. . . And Grammar Girl saves the day, yet again!

I have to say, before I start my review, that I am extremely conscious of my grammar in this space. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't make any mistakes!

I had the amazing opportunity to meet Grammar Girl, a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty, in mid-June, at a writing program I was attending. Just from watching her walk up onto the auditorium stage, I could tell she was one of the kindest and most genuine people I had ever met. She answered all of our dumb questions that she'd heard countless times before and pretended like they were all new, something I can respect. (I'm not a great liar.) She was (and, of course, still is) such a wonderful person, and she signed my copy of Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students, saying "Mind your P's and Q's!", which I thought was just hilarious. I knew that I liked her the minute she started ranting about the incorrect expression "begs the question" (which is featured in this book, by the way).

But, anyway, about the book. That's what a review is for, isn't it?

I'm not sure if GG included exactly 101 words, because I didn't go through and count them, but I'm sure she did. Every single one of them taught me a great lesson about words and grammar. Since (a word included in the book!) I am a bit of an English nerd, I found this very interesting. The thing I love about Grammar Girl is how she presents great stylistic advice without being wordy or pretentious. Someone with her level of grammatical skill could've made a conscious decision to write like she was writing an article for the New Yorker, but GG speaks like a normal person, which is something I appreciate. She didn't go into this book trying to impress a bunch of snooty, m(o)ustache-twirling literary people with her mellifluous prose.

Some of my favorite entries were: Ax (I totally never knew "axe" was British!); Begs the Question, mentioned earlier; Bring and Take; Decimate; Donut (who doesn't love those?); Eldest; E-mail Versus Email; and many more. Obviously, a lot of them were my favorites.

Even if you're not a complete English nerd like I am, this book will do wonders on your grammar. Give it a try! I guarantee the next e-mail (email?) you compose will be better!

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